‘Have you seen Auston Matthews play yet?’ How an Arizona kid won over long-suffering Maple Leaf fans

On a late September afternoon, at a barbershop in midtown Toronto, a customer was talking about what many Torontonians do as another NHL season approaches: the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs, the man said, had been bad for so long that allowing oneself as a fan to actually believe in them was like a physical hurt. It was easier to recall the better days, and then the man spoke of Leafs great Dougie Gilmour — and Dougie’s irrepressible “heart” — and how Wendel Clark had a wicked snapshot and how Mats Sundin was all-class and how, if the man were being truly honest with himself, he was sick and tired of looking back instead of looking forward to find silver linings in Toronto’s ongoing tale of…

India vs England, 2nd Test: A test of Virat Kohli and Co’s ability to bounce back after ... Getting into a winning habit is one of the best feelings in sport. You get into a confident mould and just look to carry forward the momentum. There is just one thing in mind - winning. Maintaining a winning streak is a challenge but more challenging is recuperating from a stutter because you are not used to setbacks. Playing India in India can be a nightmare for any visiting team, for India is a brute force at home. Before the Rajkot Test against England, they had won five matches in a row. But for the washout in Bangalore against South Africa where just one day's play was possible, they would have achieved a 13-Test winning streak. Such has been their domination at home. They are ruthless, relentless and ...

5 takeaways from UNLV’s Saturday win over Wyoming Five takeaways from UNLV’s wild 69-66 triple-overtime win over Wyoming on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium:1. Improved PalandechJunior quarterback Kurt Palandech struggled with his passing accuracy last season but was on target in his first start this year, completing his first six passes and finishing 20 of 32 (62.5 percent) for a career-high 252 yards, three touchdowns — including two in overtime — and no interceptions. Palandech’s running ability was never in question and he showed why, rushing for a career-high 157 yards and a key 76-yard go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. It was the second-most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback in school history, behind Hunkie Cooper’s 165 vs. Oregon State in 1991.2. Running RebelsUNLV has run the ball well all season but its backfield ...

BURNDEN ROAD RUNNERS: Ladies team deliver silver service BURNDEN claimed a superb silver medal at the British Masters Cross Country Relay Championships on Saturday. The team of ladies’ captain Gwen Kinloch, Anne Ferguson and Lesley Fisher put in a great performance against fierce competition to take second place in the L55 category at Long Eaton, Derbyshire. Kinloch covered the 3k course in 13mins 35secs, handing over to Ferguson who registered a time of 14:02. Fisher brought the team home in 13:12 for a total time of 40:49. The men’s V45 team battled to 12th place in their category with a total time of 1:04:09. Stew Jones ran the first leg in 12:50, followed by Marcus Taylor (11:51), Colin Rigby (11:37) and Andy Warburton (14:40). Paul Christie completed the last leg in 13:11. The club registered several successes at ...

Jenson Button says Abu Dhabi race to be his last ABU DHABI: Jenson Button says he has no plans to race again in Formula One after Sunday's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, even though McLaren are keeping the door open for a possible return in 2018. "I go into this weekend thinking it is going to be my last race. I think that is the best way to be," the 2009 world champion told reporters on Thursday. "At this moment in time I do not want to be racing in Formula One past this race. I think of this as my last race and hopefully everybody else does as well." The 36-year-old Briton will be replaced at McLaren by Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne next season, but the team have presented the veteran's departure as a ...

Penn State vs Michigan State 2016: Nittany Lions have inside track to College Football ... James Franklin has thus far refused to discuss his team's chase for a Big Ten championship and potential berth in the College Football Playoffs. He even shut down his wife, Fumi, when she pressed him last week about his thoughts on the No. 8 Nittany Lions' stunning ascent. Soon, Franklin might not have a choice in the matter. He'll have to address it. It'll be a good thing if he does, however. That'll mean his team took care of business. The Nittany Lions (9-2, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 8 CFP) can punch their tickets to Indianapolis by beating reeling Michigan State (3-8, 1-7) on Saturday and getting some help in Columbus, Ohio. Penn State will win the East Division if No. 2 Ohio State beats No. 3 Michigan. Considering their game kicks...

Gerrard reveals why he turned down MK Dons  Steven Gerrard has admitted he held talks with MK Dons about their vacant manager’s role but felt it was too soon for him to take the job.Gerrard, who left the Los Angeles Galaxy earlier this month, held preliminary talks with the League One club, who have been without a permanent manager since Karl Robinson was axed in October. “I’m just taking a bit of time to consider what’s next. Exciting times moving forward,” Gerrard told BT Sport when asked if he was weighing up his options. “I spoke to them,” the 36-year-old for Liverpool midfielder said. “I had a chat with the chairman. It’s a very exciting job for someone else. It’s a bit soon for me. But it is true, I did...

Pac-12 championship prediction: Jake Browning vs. Colorado secondary matchup as good as ... This ought to be fun. If Washington quarterback Jake Browning is to get invited to New York next week for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, he will have to put a good show Friday night in the Pac-12 championship game. Colorado’s elite defensive secondary won’t make it easy on him. This is how it should be: The Pac-12’s offensive player of the year vs. the Pac-12’s top-ranked passing defense, championship belt on the line. Browning has shattered several school records already this season, and with 40 touchdown passes he needs just three more to match the Pac-12 record. Most Read Stories Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks. Colorado, meanwhile, has allowed just 13 touchdown passes this season, with 15 interceptions and an opposing QB rating of 97.65. (UW’s secondary...