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The Canadian national junior team was shut out of a medal for the first time in 15 years in Ufa, Russia last year and have gone without gold since 2009 in Ottawa. Its a different approach for Hockey Canada this year, with 25 players invited to the World Junior Selection Camp and 22 making the team. With the roster virtually set, TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button was on TSN Radio 1050 and Off The Record on Tuesday to dissect the strengths and weakness of the team. "Depth and wealth of winning experience, not just internationally but within their own leagues," Button said of this years teams strengths. "You have players who have won Memorial Cups, participated in Memorials Cups, as well as winning gold medals at the international level. When you go into this type of tournament, you need players who will not capsize when you get into the rough patches. They have too many players who have been through it and succeeded." Asked how much can we expect from youngster Conner McDavid and how he will look away from his OHL club, the Erie Otters, and play with the elite players, Button said he wouldnt underestimate the 16-year-old. "Last April at the Under-18 tournament, he was two years younger than everybody else and was probably two times better than everybody there," said Button. "He was the best player by far. You are talking about a young man who is 16-years-old that understands a couple of things that go beyond the obvious skill. He understands the situations he is in and understands how to play them, given his capabilities and understanding that he is a little bit younger and that this is an elite level of hockey. "Connor McDavid can play defence, he can play two-ways, he can score, and he can set up plays. I dont want to start saying expect the earth, the moon, and the stars from him, but I can tell you this; Connor McDavid is more than capable at this level and is playing very well." McDavid is considered an OHL phenom, who was drafted first overall in the 2012 OHL entry draft and scored 66 points for the Otters in 63 games during his rookie season. The Richmond Hill, ON, native already has 45 points in 27 games with the Otters this season. Notable players who were not named to the selection camp include Max Domi, who was selected 12th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, and Darnell Nurse, selected seventh overall by the Edmonton Oilers in this years draft. Button pointed out that neither are the first to not get invited to a team or make the team as 18-year-olds, and that its not the end of the world for them. "I am still high on (Domi) and if there were 38 players invited, we would not be having this discussion. The next discussion would be; can he make the team?" said Button. "Head coach Brent Sutter really understands what he wants and who he feels fits his team. When they hired Sutter, everybody knew the deal. I dont want to suggest he is black and white because that is not the right way to put it, but he is very clear about where he wants players to play, how he wants them to play, and the types of players that fit. "There are a lot of really good players who did not get invited and when you have only 25 players invited that is what is going to happen," continued Button. "For Sutter, Canada has not won a gold medal in a number of years, so with a lack of success, so to speak, some changes come and certainly Sutter has instituted that." On the teams weakness, Button said there are few. He said the defence needs to learn how to play as a group and as pairs. "You have to defend on the big ice and you have to be able to transition quickly on the big ice. Sutter is perfectly suited to doing that. He has always had success with a group of defenceman and they are going to be key to this teams success." Sutter will need to release two forwards and one defenceman from the selection camp roster before the tournament begins. TSNs World Junior coverage continues on Wednesday with the World Junior Countdown Show at 10:30pm et/7:30pm pt. James Duthie hosts the 30-minute special alongside Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, as they set the table for Team Canadas selection camp, which kicks off on Dec. 12. Duthie and McKenzie will break down, position by position, how the team might look. TSN has complete live coverage of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, with pre-competition games beginning Friday, Dec. 20. Follow the World Juniors tournament with multi-platform coverage on TSN, TSN.ca, and TSN Radio. Adidas Tubular Schweiz . Still, its a start. Josh Baileys goal with 1:40 left capped a furious third-period rally, and the Islanders edged the Penguins 4-3 on Friday night. Adidas Eqt Schweiz . Rajne Soderberg, the director of the Stockholm Diamond League event, said in an email Friday that the ban still holds. Euromeetings, the organization representing Europes top track events, "will continue to recommend that members do not invite athletes who we believe cause disrepute to our meetings and our sport. http://www.nmdschweizkaufen.ch/. Louis Cardinals for the National League Wild Card, are in the drivers seat as they open the final series of the regular season, but they face a large task in the form of the Philadelphia Phillies. Adidas Gazelle Schweiz . The Toronto Maple Leafs were holding a news conference, so they got curious. It didnt take long for them to find out via social media that coach Randy Carlyle was coming back — with a two-year extension — and assistants Greg Cronin, Scott Gordon and Dave Farrish were being let go. Adidas Eqt Damen Sale . At a news conference Tuesday where it was thought that the fiery Schallibaum may be shown the door after a dismal finish to the Major League Soccer season, team president Joey Saputo said no decision has been made on whether the Swiss Volcano will be back in 2014.In a special Fathers Day edition of the Three Man Weave, Duane Watson and Will Strickland from TSN 1050s "1 On 1 With Will & Duane" bring on Canadian basketball blog boss Ray Bala of the Can Ball Report to collect ties, aftershave, socks and thoughts on the current state of the NBA Finals!Do the Miami Heat have a chance at making history and winning three straight to win the NBA Finals? Bala: I would say no. They have two things going against them. Firstly, the Spurs have been playing some incredible basketball that has been about as textbook as you can imagine. The teamwork and the defence plus some all-world play both by Kawhi Leonard and Boris Diaw, on the road no less, has been unstoppable. Secondly, Game 5 is in San Antonio and since the already rabid Spurs fans will be sniffing the title now, making the environment something akin to the lion food in the Roman Coliseum. And did I mention that history is not with them either? Strickland: Chance? Yes. Multiple chances, as a matter of fact: Slim and none. As great as the narrative could establish itself to be if Miami miraculously came back to make this a competitive and epic Finals, there is nothing exhibited in these first four games that would indicate that the Heat have the valentine or testicular fortitude to climb that mountain now. Watson: None. The Spurs can smell blood and they dismantled the Heat in Games 3 and 4. Coach Gregg Popovich has his team far too disciplined to rest on their laurels on home court. The Spurs will take the Larry OBrien Trophy in five games, as Miami has no sense of urgency and cant find scoring outside of the Big Three or defend anyone and that goes for all 13 members of the Miami roster.What do you look at as the biggest key to the Spurs success in the Finals? Bala: The biggest key to the Spurs success is their depth of experience. Sure Leonard, Green and Diaw have been playing out of their minds and the Big Three of Parker, Duncan and Ginobili had been solid. But its the experience among all of them, as well as others, that have kept the edge on the Heat. The panic button never seems to get pushed when things start to go awry and even after the Game 2 loss at home, they came back to pummel the Heat on their court twice, running their system and playing their game. Key word in the last sentence being THEIR. That kind of poise in a championship final only comes with experience and I think we are being shown that it will beat out youthful athleticism. Strickland: Remembering how to forget. Coach Popovich brought his charges into training camp before the season, slowly and painfully breaking down how the Spurs let one get away last year, then put it away forever. Pops understanding of how to manage his team throughout the regular season, limiting their minutes in preparation for this moment was genius. But his adjustment of inserting the multi-dimensional point forward Boris Diaw into the starting lineup for Game 3 was so masterful that San Antonio may be counting one for the thumb and never see another Game 6 in these playoffs. Watson: When a team is doing everything right, its hard to pick just one thing. They are moving the ball exceptionally well, in addition to shooting at a high field-goal percentage, but their defence is what is giving the Heat fits. Not just contesting shots, activity in passing lanes or stealing the ball, but second-man rotation has been solid by the Spurs and, as their hallmark, its any player on the floor wearing black and silver, not just the starters. Is Kawhi Leonard a similar player if drafted by any other team in the NBA? Bala: I dont think so. Leonard, in his role now with the Spurs, is in the ideal place. He would be asked to do more of one thing or another with any other team, or less, and that could likely lead to a drop-off in something else. Right now, hes the do-everything athletic guy on a Spurs team that, though, has athletes, doesnt have one like him. Teams in the NBA all have a vet guy, or three, like Kawhi and that would compete with him growing as a player. There is no way that he would be the same player anywhere else for what hes shown us in the Finals. Strickland: No. Being able to come into a team aand system that mirrors his character, personality and demeanour to a tee with veteran leaders and a winning culture that wouldnt depend on him to be the face of the franchise right away was ideal for him.dddddddddddd. The Spurs R.C. Buford knew what he was doing and exactly what he was getting when he traded George Hill to the Pacers for Kawhi Leonard.Watson: Of course not. Hes still a talented and gifted player, but he was drafted by a team that didnt need him to come in right away and score or be a lockdown defender. He is coached by the best in the game and has learned and watched from Hall of Fame players and how to conduct himself as a professional. Does the result of the NBA Finals affect the Heats off-season free agency moves? Bala: Either way you cut it, its a yes. With all but two players guaranteed to be on the roster, this should play a huge role now. Assuming that the Three Amigos take their player options, for one of the two years at least, the Heat will need to find the pieces to build around them within a workable budget for necessary complementary talent. If any of them opts for free agency, the team will have to replace that player AND just about everyone else too. That will be a huge problem because the calibre of player and chemistry will be tough to find. Lose or, if you believe in miracles, win, Miami has a long summer ahead of it. Strickland: Absolutely. The roster is aging in dog years, especially with one of their stars whose name rhymes with "Wwyane Dade." The Heat need to address getting younger players who fit their culture and can contribute right away. Pat Riley will also have to look at shoring up problem areas at the point guard (Kyle Lowry?) and down low with solid bigs who can help drag Miami out of the NBAs basement in rebounding, score a bit and be a defensive presence in the paint. Carmelo Anthony is not the answer to the Heats needs right now. Watson: Not really, although the Finals have shown them that they are in worse shape than they previously thought. If Dwyane Wade is going to retire as a Heat player, the team needs more support. This season alone proves they cant coast through and expect to compete in the Finals. Miami has played a lot of games over the last three years and its apparent they are tired and too top-heavy. They can take a note from the Spurs or two regarding balance. Four games deep, who is the Finals MVP? Bala: My pick is Boris Diaw. I cant believe I just said that. I, like Im sure many have before me, have ragged on him at some point in his career, but hes looking like the championship-era Bulls Scottie Pippen right now. Hes been a catalyst on both ends of the floor and its been his ability to not just make plays, but timely ones has been a sparkplug for the Spurs and a dagger for the Heat. I know Leonard had some big performances, as did Parker, but without Diaw the Spurs could be looking at 2-2 or even 3-1. Strickland: Can an entire team and organization be named MVP? No? Okay. Well, I currently have co-MVPs in Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard. French Pastrys insertion into the starting lineup shifted the Spurs offence into high gear, especially Kawhi Leonard. Leonards stat lines in Games 3 and 4 are shinier and MVP-calibre, but Diaw as a catalyst facilitating so many good things on the offence cant be overlooked. For a guy who once was the MVP of a foreign hoops league while averaging 7 PPG says a lot about how Boris Diaws impact on this series. Watson: Kawhi Leonard, despite Tim Duncans consistency. Leonard has shot .590 from the field averaging 16.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while defending the best player on the planet in LeBron James. He has also forced to make James and the rest of the Heat work on the defensive end and is poised to be holding the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award. Leonard has taken the next step in his career and no better time than the NBA Finals. The Three-Man Weave contributors are co-hosts of TSN Radio 1050s 1-on-1 with Will and Duane, Will Strickland (@WallStrizzle1) and Duane Watson (@byDuaneWatson) and guest point guard and owner of a quietly hot sneaker collection Ray Bala (@CanBallReport). ' ' '

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