VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks spent the pre-season learning new head coach John Tortorellas system. Now that the games count in the standings, theyre taking part in some on-the-job training. Tortorella has implemented a more aggressive, puck-pressure style with Vancouver and he watched the Canucks succeed at it for stretches in Thursdays season-opening 4-1 loss to the Sharks in San Jose. "Our goal as coaches is that you want (the system) to be instinctive eventually. That will take some time," Tortorella said after Fridays brief practice at Rogers Arena. "(Against San Jose) I think we had some good minutes of how we wanted to play. So I think (the players) know how to play. "Its just a matter of doing it consistently." Canucks centre Ryan Kesler said the team needs to get a grasp on the system quickly, beginning with Saturdays home opener against the Edmonton Oilers, if its going to compete in the realigned and more competitive Pacific Division. "We have to learn fast. Weve got to get these points. These points are going to be important for us and the end of the year," Kesler said. "I thought we did a good job for a large part of the (San Jose) game." He added its not simply understanding the system, but believing in it. "I think weve got to trust each other, thats the big thing. Weve got to trust each other that were going to work hard," Kesler said. "We can only be aggressive if that happens. "As a group we have (the system) locked down, its just a game of mistakes. Sometimes you make the wrong read and its an outnumbered rush. Things like that are going to happen." Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said no one in the locker-room expected the change to Tortorellas style from that of former coach Alain Vigneault to be seamless. "You cant think that its going to be perfected in the first game of the season. Itll take some time but we showed some good strides there," Bieksa said. "Were happy with how we played at times (against San Jose). Other times wed like to maybe play a little different." Bieksa said theres going to be instances early in the season where the system breaks down, especially at the end of shifts or when players are hurt. "When youre not thinking clearly you kind of revert back to old habits," he said. "I think thats going to take a little bit of time to set in where its just second nature, but right now I think everybody has a good grasp of how (Tortorella) wants us to play." Among the positives from the San Jose loss was goaltender Roberto Luongo, who is back as the undisputed No. 1 after Cory Schneiders off-season trade to the New Jersey Devils. Luongo finished with 31 saves on the night, including a stellar first period that saw him stop all 16 shots he faced. The penalty killing unit also had a good night, holding the Sharks power play scoreless on eight chances. "I think we did a lot of good things," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. "I think we showed that if we play the right way for 60 minutes were a tough team." The Canucks know the young Oilers will be hungry on Saturday after a 5-4 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in their opener Tuesday. "Its team that weve obviously developed a little bit of a rivalry with. They usually play us very tough at the beginning of the season," Bieksa said. "We know theyll be fast, theyll be skilled and well be looking to play in their face." Note: Canucks right-winger Alexandre Burrows missed practice with an undisclosed injury suffered against the Sharks. Tortorella said the forward is "banged up" but added he expects him to play against Edmonton. Jayson Tatum Celtics Jersey
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. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists detailed in a report how Russian and international journalists have been harassed and prevented from covering sensitive stories in Sochi such as the abuse of migrant workers and environmental issues. HOUSTON -- Coach Kevin McHale said it first and then player after player echoed his sentiment: Early in the season Houston wouldnt have won the type of game they did Sunday night. James Harden scored 41 points, Jeremy Lin had 26 and the Rockets rallied for a 118-113 overtime win against the Portland Trail Blazers. "Theres no way we win this game early on in the year," Chandler Parsons said. "So I think that shows a lot about our growth and maturity and just how much were coming together and how well were playing right now." The Trail Blazers led by 3 in overtime after two free throws by Wesley Matthews. Houston took over from there, using an 8-2 run with a 3 from Harden and four points from Lin to make it 116-113 with 35.4 seconds left. Lin added two free throws after that to help the Rockets secure their fifth straight win. "We didnt have a lot of zip in us tonight ... but the guys just kept battling and kept fighting," McHale said. "Sometimes you just have to go out there and gut your way through a win." Houston trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter before using a big spurt to close the gap. Portland regained the lead 106-103 before Harden hit a 3-pointer with seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime. "The first three quarters we were basically just out there running around," Harden said. "The last quarter we got more physical and created some opportunities for our defence." LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 28 points and 12 rebounds, but managed just two points in OT. Its the second straight loss for Portland, following a 103-98 defeat at Dallas on Friday. "There are a lot of angry faces because we shouldve had that game," Aldridge said. "Weve had two tough losses on the road and we definitely felt like we didnt do everything we could tonight, so of course guys are angry right now." Dwight Howard added 17 points with 12 rebounds and Chandler Parsons had 16 points for Houston. Harden also had 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals. After the win, a couple of Rockets said they feel like they are as good as any team in the league right now. But Howard, who at 28 is one of the teams oldest players, cautioned against getting too confident. "You just want to hold up that trophy come June," he said.dddddddddddd"Youve just got to stay humble. Thats the message. Stay humble and stay hungry and continue to do the small things to help us win games." Damian Lillard opened overtime with a 3-pointer for Portland, but picked up his sixth foul on a charge a few seconds later. A basket by Chandler Parsons cut the lead to 1 before Patrick Beverley fouled out, too, leaving both teams without their starting point guards. Harden knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner off the inbounds pass with 8 seconds left in the fourth and Matthews in his face to tie it. A turnover by Nicolas Batum gave Houston a chance to win it in regulation, but Beverleys jump shot clanged off the rim at the buzzer. Matthews had 26 points for Portland and Lillard 21. Houston trailed by 11 points with about eight minutes left in the fourth before going on a 12-3 run, powered by nine points from Harden, to get within 97-95 with about 3 1/2 minutes left. The only thing that slowed Harden during that span was an offensive foul that erased one his buckets. Lin got Houston within 1 on a layup with two minutes left in the fourth before a free throw by Robin Lopez. Lin gave Houston its first lead of the game -- 102-101 -- with a 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining. Lillards basket put Portland on top after that and Hardens turnover led to a pair of free throws by Matthews on the other end. Lin made one of two free throws to make it 105-103 before another free throw by Matthews. Portland was up by 12 points in the third quarter before a 5-1 spurt, with a 3-pointer by Matthews, extended the lead to 77-61. Houston got its offence going a little bit after that, scoring five straight points. But Aldridge made four quick points to push the lead up to 81-66. Portland got off to a quick start, building a 10-0 lead with five points from Lillard. Houston missed four shots and had two turnovers as the Trail Blazers built the lead. NOTES: McHale received a technical for arguing a foul call in the second quarter, and Williams and Hamilton also received technical fouls later in the second. ... Aldridge, who is from Dallas and played at the University of Texas, has scored at least 20 points in each of his last 12 regular-season trips to Houston. Cheap Jerseys Online Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping
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