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Despite being the biggest players on the field, they live in relative anonymity. [url
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Despite being the biggest players on the field, they live in relative anonymity. Custom Colorado Avalanche Jerseys . When other players hear their names called during a game its because theyve done something right, but members of this group only hear their name when they do something wrong. They are offensive linemen. The Toronto Argonauts are preparing to face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Final this Sunday. As they do, theres less worry about this group than there was as they entered the 2012 playoffs, a season that culminated with a Grey Cup Championship. To be kind, the Argos o-line wasnt great last year. There was a great deal of worry about how well the group was playing as the post-season run began. That level of concern has been greatly reduced heading into this years playoffs. "Similar guys at this point, with the exception of Tyler (Holmes)," said head coach Scott Milanovich. "I just think theyve played together in the system a little bit longer. I dont think its a whole lot different other than were a year and a half into it now." Holmes is the newcomer, essentially replacing Marc Parenteau as a starter. The Argos first-round pick in the 2011 draft joined the club in September after being released by the Minnesota Vikings. He made his CFL debut against the Ticats in October and hasnt looked back, playing admirably at left guard while starting the final three games of the regular season. He has a lot of respect for the guys across the line in black and gold. "Theyre a talented bunch up front" said Holmes, whose father Richard played for three CFL teams, including the Argos. "We just need to execute our game plan and handle what we can handle." Holmes says theres one area that really improved in the time hes been up here. "Getting in there and seeing the different looks, everything really slows down for you," the Ottawa native told TSN.ca "When you first get in there your head is spinning a little bit, so its been really nice to just get in there and settle in." Joe Eppele has moved from left guard to right guard. He played the best football of his career in the playoffs a year ago and hasnt looked back. "I think I played some of my best football then, but I think Ive improved a lot this season." said the second-overall pick in the 2010 CFL draft. "I think the biggest part has been my field recognition. Ive noticed that for me, mentally, the game has slowed down quite a lot. I can read the defences a lot better than I used to be able to." For the layman, the move from one side of the center to the other may not seem like that big of a deal, but everything changes, especially the footwork. Hes handling it well though. "It just creates a little bit of lag in the decision making" explained the 68" BC native. "You have to flip everything around in your head before you make the decisions, and just the small changes in your footwork. When youve been working on one side of the ball for so long youre just so used to having your feet in a certain stance, and when you make that switch it slows down your game a little bit at first." As the left tackle, Tony Washington protects Ricky Rays blind side. Its been an unusual season for the second-year Argo, as hes been in and out of the lineup due to injury. He even found himself playing some defensive tackle at times. He feels hes playing his best football at the perfect time of the year. "I dealt with a lot of injuries at the beginning of the season," said the New Orleans native. "I was trying to come back from that and keep my conditioning up." Washington feels as a group the line has been playing more aggressively this season. Hes also been impressed with Holmes, who starts to his immediate right. "For him to have come in as a rookie, hes picked it up really well" said the 67", 320 pound veteran. "He looks good, hes been playing really well." Like both Washington and Eppele, right tackle Chris Van Zeyl has found himself moved around. He was the right tackle last season, moved to right guard for the most part this year, but has been moved back to tackle lately. He doesnt care which position he plays. "Ill play wherever the coaches play me," said the McMaster grad. "I dont have a preference. I like playing tackle, I like playing guard. Guard allows me to be more physical, tackle allows me to be more athletic." Hes ready to go against a tough Hamilton front seven. What concerns him the most about that group? "I think more the system than the actual players themselves," said the native of Font Hill, Ontario. "I think the players are all pretty well-rounded, but I think the system gives teams a lot more trouble than the players themselves do." The leader of the group is center Jeff Keeping. Over the course of his nine seasons in the CFL, eight of which have been spent in Toronto, hes played defensive line, fullback, tight end and all along the offensive line. Hes been a very low profile member of the team,but this year was recognized for his tremendous play by being voted the East nominee for the CFLs Outstanding Offensive Lineman. He admits he sees an improvement in his game. "I think I played better" Keeping told TSN.ca before immediately giving accolades to his fellow linemen. "With any award like that you know its the result of the unit. I cant speak for each of the guys, but I think I played more consistent and I know I played at a higher level more consistently. I feel the same way about everybody across the line, so I think that as a whole really made us successful as a line." If the group keeps Ricky Ray on his feet and opens holes for running backs Jerious Norwood and Curtis Steele, it will go a long way toward sending the Argos to Regina for an opportunity to defend their Grey Cup title. Paul Kariya Jersey . 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. Colorado Avalanche Jerseys . Coming off a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea on Saturday, Arsenal endured another demoralizing result after rallying for a 2-1 lead -- only to concede a fluke equalizer. http://www.hockeyavalanche.com/authentic...he-jersey/ . The American secured his first back-to-back ATP match wins since June to leave Tsonga relying on his performance at next weeks Paris Masters to clinch one of the final three places for the season-ending event in London. Tsonga would have moved up one spot to No. 6 with a win over Querrey at the City of Arts and Sciences, but his serve deserted him in the second set as the 116th-ranked American broke twice to reach the quarter-finals.Sochi, Russia - The closing ceremony of the Sochi Games brought a flashy and tuneful end Sunday night to the most expensive Olympics in history. Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. They opted for human rings this time, the last one opening several seconds after the first four on the floor of the stadium. It echoed the hijinks from Vancouvers closing ceremony four years ago, when a leg of the cauldron that failed to come up during the opening ceremony was finally raised into place. Sundays ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium included a handoff from Sochi to Pyeongchang, South Korea, host of the 2018 Winter Games. Near the end, the cauldron that was lit 16 days earlier by Russian Olympic greats Vladislav Tretiak and Irina Rodnina was extinguished after one of the games mascots, an animatronic bear, blew out a flame in the center of the stadium, a single tear dripping from its left eye. Earlier, after a childrens choir conducted by Valery Gergiev sung the Russian national anthem, flag bearers for each country entered the stadium together rather than country by country like in the opening ceremony. The athletes who stuck around for the festivities also came in together, as is customary for the closing ceremony. American ice hockey forward Julie Chu, who competed in her fourth Olympics, carried the U.S. flag. "So proud to represent Team USA (and) our amazing athletes. Humbled," Chu tweeted as she waited to enter the stadium. Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, who won their second womens bobsled gold medal in a row, were co-flag bearers for Canada. Figure skater Maxim Trankov, a dual gold medalist in Sochi, carried Russias flag. Pop music played, but the ceremony also included a heavy dose of classical music and ballet like the opening ceremony, and a nod to Russian novelists and poets. All of it was done as temperatures hovered in the 40s, a cool close to the so- called Spring Olympics, where the weather was famously mild, with temperatures even climbing into the 60s on some days. That led to some strange scenes, including cross country skiers cutting the sleeves off their uniforms and American skier Julia Mancuso filming a surfing video for NBC on the Black Sea. There was a serious side to the warmer weather, of course, which wreaked havoc on some courses for the snow events. Snowboarders complained about slushy conditions on the halfpipe and the New York Times detailed a clandestine operation by organizers to purchase more salt needed to keep some courses properly iced. Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen set the all-time Winter Olympics record during the games by winning his 12th and 13th medals, both golds. But Russia led the overall medal count with 33, including 13 gold medals to fall one short of the Winter Games record of 14 set by Canada four years ago at the Vancouver Olympics. The U.S. finished second with 28 medals, nine fewer than the Winter Games record 37 they captured in Vancouver. Norway was third overall with 26 medals and Canada won 25, including 10 gold -- the last secured by the mens hockey team on Sunday in a win over Sweden. John Wensink Jersey. . The Russian anthem played for the last time at the closing ceremony during the medal ceremony for the mens 50-kilometer cross country race. Alexander Legkov led a Russian medal sweep of that event Sunday morning. Sochi organizing committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko called the games "a great moment in our history ... a moment that will never be forgotten." "This is the new face of Russia, our Russia," he said. "And for us, these games are the best ever." Russian President Vladimir Putins $51 billion Olympics were the subject of snickers early on when media and athletes arrived to find some accommodations lacking. Journalists relayed stories of unfinished rooms, broken door handles, missing shower curtains and even stray dogs in their media villages. One was told not to use the water in her bathroom, which was said to contain a dangerous chemical. U.S. bobsledder Johnny Quinn became an Internet sensation after tweeting a picture of his bathroom door, which he had broken through after becoming locked inside. The Twitter account SochiProblems had more than 330,000 followers by the time of Sundays closing ceremony, but the criticism so prevalent in the first days died down, giving way to wide praise of Sochis venues. IOC President Thomas Bach, presiding over his first games, said the athletes left a legacy of "peace, tolerance and respect" and urged, as IOC heads often do, that countries around the world follow the example. Bach thanked Putin for what he said was the Russian presidents "personal commitment to the extraordinary success" of the games. "We leave as friends of the Russian people," said Bach. News broke during the opening ceremony that a plane had been diverted to an airport in Turkey after a passenger on board allegedly issued a bomb threat and tried to have the aircraft redirected to Sochi. The incident further raised fears that Russias first Olympics in 34 years could be the target of a terrorist attack, but the games passed without any such incident. The host country faced criticism in the run-up to the games after passing laws last year aimed at keeping gay "propaganda" away from children, and officials remained adamant throughout that political protests should be kept away from Olympic venues. In the highest-profile incident of its kind, two members of the punk band Pussy Riot were among several people detained for several hours as they planned to film a protest video in Sochi. They set up a day later to film again, but were interrupted by Cossacks who attacked them with whips. The games went without a positive doping test until the final weekend, when there were six. In the last case, Swedish hockey star Nicklas Backstrom was scratched from the gold medal game Sunday after testing positive for a banned substance found in allergy medication his NHL team said he has been taking for seven years to combat severe allergies. The W erseys ' ' '
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