Every year, there are players that take a step forward offensively, earning bigger roles, maybe with more power play time, and they produce more points than they have previously in their careers. Scott Cullen takes a look at some candidates for breakthrough performances this season: Mikael Granlund, C, Minnesota - Highly-touted coming out of Finland, where he scored 51 points in 45 games in 2011-2012, Granlund has taken some time to get acclimated to the North American game. He scored 28 points in 29 AHL games during the lockout in 2012-2013, but suffered an ankle injury while he was in the minors and managed just eight points in 27 games once he was called up. Last season, there was progress. Granlund scored 41 points in 63 games, including 21 in his last 24 regular-season games, earning a bigger offensive role with Mikko Koivu missing time due to injury. Ita€?s not easy to take the step from where Granlund has been to this point in his career to being a player who could score 65-70 points but, with a few breaks, thata€?s not an unreasonable target for Granlund. Alex Galchenyuk, LW, Montreal a€“ Though Galchenyuk has spent some time at centre in training camp, hea€?s still more likely a fit on the wing with the Canadiens at this point. Despite earning an extra couple minutes of ice time per game, hea€?s coming off a sophomore season in which his points-per-game dipped from 0.56 PPG as a rookie to 0.48 PPG last year, but a large part of that loss was a result of on-ice shooting percentage falling from an inflated 11.8% as a rookie to 7.3% last season. Provided that Galchenyuk stays healthy a€“ he suffered a broken hand then a late-season knee injury last season a€“ and continues to get more ice time, he is positioned to see a production boost in his third season, in part because the Canadiens dona€?t have a lot of highly-skilled forwards and Galchenyuk is one that has the potential to produce. The question may be whether the Canadiens are ready to give him that opportunity. Mika Zibanejad, C, Ottawa a€“ Oddly demoted to Binghamton of the AHL at the start of last season, where he scored seven points in six games before getting recalled, Zibanejad put up 33 points in 69 games for the Senators. With Jason Spezza leaving for Dallas, there is ample room for Zibanejad to move up the depth chart and play more than the 14:20 per game that he skated last season, when he was already one of the most prolific shooters on the club. More ice time should bring more production, especially since Zibanejad hasna€?t been reaping the rewards of any inflated shooting percentages to this point in his career. Patrick Maroon, LW, Anaheim a€“ A 26-year-old who finally stuck in the league as a regular last season, Maroon offers a rare combination of goal-scoring and penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4 winger had 118 goals and 544 penalty minutes in 353 AHL games before earning a spot with the Ducks last season. He started slowly, receiving limited ice time, but then finished the year with 12 points in the last 12 games, before adding seven points in 13 playoff games as he played a bigger role. While Maroon is due to have his on-ice shooting percentage (10.7%) decline, if that bigger role includes more regular opportunities on the wing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, it would be easy to see Maroon flying past last seasona€?s 29-point output. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Los Angeles a€“ This 22-year-old winger forced his way into the spotlight during last seasona€?s Stanley Cup run, skating alongside Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson on the Kingsa€? second line. Toffoli, who was a big scorer in junior, tallying 109 goals in 133 games his last two seasons with Ottawa of the OHL, has scored 23 goals and 54 points in 110 (regular season plus playoff) games with the Kings over the past couple years, playing less than 13 minutes per game. Hea€?s improved his skating and still has the release of a goal-scorer, so dona€?t be surprised if a full season with regular ice time on a scoring line leads to a 25-goal campaign for Toffoli. Sean Couturier, C, Philadelphia a€“ Asked to play a defensive role early in his career because, unlike most young players, he was so adept defensively, 21-year-old Couturier did score a career-high 39 points last season, but that could just be scratching the surface. In junior, Couturier put up 192 points in 126 games over his last two seasons with Drummondville of the QMJHL, so hea€?s not lost in the offensive zone. It may just be a matter of getting put into more offensive situations and if the Flyers are prepared to do that with Couturier, who has been skating with wingers Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read, then this could be the year that Couturiera€?s production takes off. Dougie Hamilton, D, Boston a€“ The ninth overall pick in 2011, Hamilton has been eased into the lineup by the Bruins, but at the end of last season, he tallied 13 points in 25 (regular season plus playoff) games, showing a glimpse of his offensive potential. Hamilton has registered only 10 of his 41 career points with the man advantage, so that is one area of his game that should be primed for growth as the Bruins lean more on the talented 21-year-old. Nail Yakupov, RW, Edmonton a€“ Expectations for the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft have naturally been high, but were likely inflated by a late-season scoring surge at the end of the 2012-2013 season, when he scored 11 goals and 15 points in the last 14 games. However, his shooting percentage (21.0%) was unsustainable and, not surprisingly, it regressed last season (to 9.0%) so, even as Yakupov registered more shots on goal per game, he managed only 11 goals and 24 points in 63 games. The 20-year-old has the shot to be a top scoring threat for the Oilers a€“ and ita€?s best for the team if he can start to live up to his potential -- so if Yakupov can find workable chemistry with some of the Oilersa€? other skilled forwards, he could be ready to take off. Elias Lindholm, C, Carolina a€“ The fifth overall pick in 2013, Lindholm had a solid enough rookie year, putting up 21 points in 58 games, spending time midseason with the Swedish National Junior Team. He was already going to be expected to play a significant role for the Hurricanes this year, but with centre Jordan Staal suffering a broken leg, there will be all the more reason for Lindholm to play a bigger role in his second year. Whether Lindholm shifts back to centre or remains on the wing, hea€?s set to play a top-six role for the Hurricanes and for all their shortcomings, that does offer the chance to play with other skilled forwards, so Lindholm will have a chance to build on a rookie season that included a relatively-low (6.8%) on-ice shooting percentage. Sami Vatanen, D, Anaheim a€“ Therea€?s no denying that Vatanen, listed at 5-foot-10, is undersized for an NHL defenceman. Therea€?s also no denying that the Ducks are better when hea€?s in the lineup, yet it hasna€?t been easy for the 23-year-old to hold a regular spot on the Anaheim blueline. He scored 12 points in his last 15 regular-season games last season, but didna€?t get into playoff action until the Ducks were already trailing the Kings, two games to none, in the second round. Forecasting a breakthrough season for Vatanen relies on the Ducks to give him a regular role, and that could be a tad optimistic, but he has the skill to handle a significant role. Others: Brock Nelson, C/LW, N.Y. Islanders; Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, St. Louis; Charlie Coyle, RW, Minnesota; Brandon Saad, LW, Chicago; Chris Kreider, LW, N.Y. Rangers. Kingsley Coman Jersey
. Spieth again showed game well beyond his 20 years with a 9-under 63 on the North Course, giving him a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink going into the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open. Manuel Neuer Jersey
. - Erick Torres scored his 10th goal of the season on a stunning volley, and Chivas USA edged 10-man Real Salt Lake 1-0 on Saturday night. http://www.soccerfcbayern.com/
. That time around, the cage is as much a part of baseballs daily routine as a beer and a hotdog is to a fan in the stands. Coaches, scouts, broadcasters and other media hover, tossing verbal barbs, telling stories and sharing laughs. Occasionally, especially in spring when the atmosphere is relatively laid back, the list of invited guests expands and on this day, Gibbons welcomed two men strongly influential in his life. Niklas Sule Bayern Munich Jersey
. Dallas also Monday recalled defenceman Aaron Rome from his conditioning assignment with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League and assigned goaltender Jack Campbell to the AHL squad. David Alaba Bayern Munich Jersey
. -- The Windsor Spitfires were left with just one goaltender Tuesday after having their starter walk out on them midway through Game 3 of their Ontario Hockey League playoff matchup with the London Knights.CLEVELAND -- As shot after shot dropped through the net, it became clear LeBron James was going to have one of those special nights. The kind he has every so often. The kind he has when Dwyane Wade sits. James scored 43 points -- 25 in a bewildering first-quarter shooting display -- and Chris Bosh added 21, leading the Miami Heat to a 100-96 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played their first game without injured All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. With Wade out resting his sore knees, James took it upon himself to carry the Heat. The same thing happened on March 3 and James responded by scoring a career-high 61 against Charlotte. "I dont know, its one of those zones," James said, trying to explain how he made 10 of 11 shot and five 3-pointers in the dizzying opening quarter. "When I started the game off, I felt like I could have gone for 50 or 60." James added two crucial blocks and dropped six free throws in the final two minutes, and Bosh had a key rejection to lead the Heat to just their third win in eight games. With Wade out, the Heats two other megastars picked up the slack. Jarrett Jack scored 22 and Dion Waiters added 17 and 11 assists for Cleveland, which was also without starting forward Luol Deng (sprained ankle). Irvings expected to miss two weeks with a strained biceps tendon, an injury that further damages the Cavs fading playoff hopes. Cleveland fell six games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot. "Our guys hung in there and they competed," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. After one quarter, it was: James 25, Cavs 25. And like the other 20,000 plus in attendance, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra marveled at James accuracy. "That had nothing to do with me," Spoelstra said. "Truth be told, its not like Im absolutely in love with those type of plays, but he had it rolling. So I took a step back for a little bit." The four-time MVP had 31 points at halftime and 37 after three quarters, but the Heat entered the final 12 minutes tied as they were unable to shake off the Cavs, who shot 60 per cent from the floor through three and had all five starters in double figures. With James content to distribute the ball, Bosh scored nine straight points to put Miami ahead 93-88 with 2:24 remaining. Cleveland cut it to three on a basket by Anderson Varejao and had a chance to get closer but James -- with an assist from Udonis Haslem -- snuffed a dunk attempt by Spencer Hawes. Just 11 seconds later, Bosh turned away Waiters and James made a pair of free throws to make it 95-90 with 1:06 remaining. After empty possessions by both teams, James blocked a drive by Waiters and Bosh split a pair of free throws, giving the Heat a 96-90 lead.dddddddddddd Jack made two 3-pointers in the final 15.7 seconds, but both times James answered by hitting two free throws to close it out. Spoelstra was most pleased with Miamis defence down the stretch. "Probably my favourite play was the double block," he said. "U.D. and L.J. going for that. It should be a layup. It should be a dunk. To make that play, those are the things I like to see." James improved to 13-1 against the Cavaliers, the team he left after seven seasons as a free agent in 2010. James made his first six shots -- four of them 3s -- and showed most of his offensive repertoire in the first quarter. He hit fadeaways, runners and a thunderous breakaway dunk. The only shot James missed came on a "heat-check" 3-pointer from way beyond the arc. "Thats what makes LeBron unique in this league," Spoelstra said. "In todays age, there are players who would be looking for numbers with that type of start to see if you can go for 70. LeBrons just trying to play the game the right way. It takes great maturity. Hes selfless." It was James second visit to Cleveland in 10 days. He had been back on March 8, when former teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas had his jersey retired by the Cavs, who may one day raise the No. 23 James wore to the rafters of Quicken Loans Arena. Much pregame hype focused on the All-Stars future. James can opt out of his contract with Miami this summer and become a free agent, and one of his possible destinations could be Cleveland. Asked directly if he wants to play for his former team again, James was noncommittal. "As of right now, its too hard for me to think about," he said. "We have 20 or less games before we gear up for no sleep for two months, hopefully. So for me to try and take my mind somewhere else when I know whats on its way is almost impossible." NOTES: Wade will be re-evaluated Wednesday when the Heat visit Boston. ... James has yet to fill out his NCAA tournament brackets and didnt seem to be in a hurry to do it anytime soon. "Im terrible," he said. He was then reminded about the $1 billion Gilbert and tycoon Warren Buffett are offering for anyone who picks the games perfectly. Doesnt he want the billion? "No," James said. "Im just going to ask him for it." Its unclear whether he meant Gilbert or Buffett. ... Spoelstra intends to keep C Greg Oden in the starting lineup, a drastic change for Miami, which has favoured smaller, shooter-heavy lineups. Oden made his third start and finished with six points in 14 minutes. NFL Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Jerseys NFL China NFL Jerseys Wholesale
' ' '