Cavaliers fire coach tyronn lue after 0-6 start – canadanewsmedia

Lue led the Cavaliers to three straight NBA Finals, including the 2016 NBA championship. He was 128-83 on the job. Cleveland’s ownership and management had hoped the team would compete for a playoff spot, although it may not be realistic with the hole the loss of LeBron James leaving in free agency left on the roster.

Sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that Lue recently had a disagreement with general manager Koby Altman over playing veterans. Altman preferred that Kyle Korver and JR Smith be taken out of the rotation to give time to younger players. After one game in which they didn’t play, Lue put both back in the rotation without consulting Altman.

Altman planned to address the Cavaliers players at a noon ET practice session and inform them that Drew is the “voice” of the team for Sunday, league sources said.

Altman and Gilbert want Drew to accept the interim coaching job now with the potential of a long-term commitment later, but that hasn’t happened yet, sources said. Drew prefers an appointment as head coach that extends beyond this season, sources said.

Gardiner’s kick save stopped Ondrej Kase in the third period when the latter had an empty net and another Ducks’ freebie hit the Russian rear end of blueline partner Nikita Zaitsev. The latter had a huge wrap on his inner thigh bruise after the match.

“So many guys made crucial plays in the third to keep the puck out of the net,” said Sparks. “When you see guys commit to defence like that and (John Tavares’s ) backcheck on our winning goal, those are the efforts you need to win. We poured out everything we had in the tank here.”

Rielly called the Tavares back check the most important part of his goal, which sent he and Marner away 2-on-1. Snapping his ninth of the year past a stingy John Gibson, Rielly tied his career high before U.S. Thanksgiving and added to his league-leading 25 points by a defenceman.

Patrick Marleau looking comfortably like a player who has 70-plus point against the Ducks, had the Leafs’ first goal, started when Nazem Kadri beat Ryan Getzlaf on a draw. The puck went back to Gardiner whose shot was re-directed by Marleau.

“Any time you can help your goalie out,” Gardiner smiled. “It was kind of a desperation move. Fortunately, it hit us tonight. It gave ourselves a chance in overtime and then Mitch made a heck of a play and and Morgan had a heck of a release. You don’t see that too much from a defenceman.”

“He’s a huge part of this team and it’s great to be able to go up against a guy like that. When I went up against him in L.A. (at Matthews’ first workout) after not seeing him in a month, it’s like seeing a new player. You just don’t see a release like that until he comes back.

Anaheim defenceman Cam Fowler was to undergo delicate surgery on Friday to repair a complex fracture of the orbital bone, cheekbone and the upper jaw on the right side of his face. A puck came at him, ramped up his stick and struck him and he’s not expected back until well into the calendar year 2019.

“This seems to be normal to be for us over the last three years,” coach Randy Carlyle told the Orange County Register. “We always seem to be dealing with something; extended absences of major pieces of your puzzle. But the bottom line is we’re in pro sports. Nobody’s going to look back a year from now or two years from now and say, ‘their record was this because (of injuries).’ That’s not the way it is. You make your record. Nobody looks at how many injured players you had or how many millions of dollars you don’t have in the lineup.”

“Any time you stand still against big defencemen, it’s all over for you,” said Babcock. “Whether that’s with your feet and being evasive, or whether that be moving the puck quick, you can’t be an easy pin or an easy touch and easy to defend. I’ve talked about our team speed, that’s one of our assets and we have to use it.”

“The way the game is in general, you don’t have much time and space,” Tavares said. “The better you can move the puck and make it hard on the opponent to defend and be hard to read, it makes you more difficult to defend and able to create more chances.”

On this kind of road trip, long after the full-time Leafs have boarded the bus for lunch or sight-seeing in California, Sparks is still on the ice. He’ll hang in as long as the Black Aces and assistant coaches need him, last to go the dressing room.

“That’s part of the job description, making sure everyone is taken care of,” Sparks said before Friday’ game. “You give it your all in the (full) morning skate and a little bit afterward with guys such as Auston, Trevor Moore and Justin Holl, who are working hard every day. You give them your best effort every day and they appreciate it.”

This is a new slice of hockey life for the 25-year-old, about the busiest goalie in the American Hockey League last year, its regular season stopper of the year on his Calder Cup run. But from 3,600 minutes with the Marlies, Sparks had seen three NHL games before Friday, two of them on the back-end of consecutive games when the team in front of him was tuckered. Between beating the L.A. Kings and his last start Saturday in Boston, there were three weeks of watching Frederik Andersen.

“Nobody understands that challenge,” said Sparks. “You sit almost 30 days and you want to be good for the team on a back-to-back and do everything you can. Maybe you think about it a little too much. Let the game come to you and let everybody respond based on the energy you’re giving off.

“I’m working on (adjusting to the backup role) on a daily basis. I wouldn’t say I’m better or worse at it so far. I’ve only had three starts and the last one was the most extreme amount of time between games. It’s nice to have another opportunity (so soon).”

“I’ve gotten a lot of praise for the way I do faceoffs, the detail I put into it and how accurate I am,” Sparks said proudly. “I do everything I can to make sure I’m dialed in. If that’s part of your job description, you have to be good at it.”

There were no lineup changes for the Leafs in Anaheim, other than Sparks. That was a reward for players such as Josh Leivo, who scored his second goal in 18 games. “The biggest thing, is when you have Willy (Nylander) and Matty not here, it’s more opportunity for other guys,” Babcock said. “So you can earn yourself more of a role when they’re away if you do well” … Expect more of the same game plan for Leafs with long-bomb breakouts. “We’re going to try and out-skate every single team this year,” Gardiner said. “Get pucks behind them and let our forwards skate under it. It’s always a nice game plan” … The Marlies had another productive game Friday from veteran forward Chris Mueller who scored with 15 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in Belleville, but they ended up losing 5-4 … Draft pick Ian Scott scored an empty net goal on Friday for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders.

This was a big night for goalie Garret Sparks, who was looking at a long week if he lost for the second time on this road trip. He not only saw a lot of rubber, almost 40 shots, but had good sight lines on high glove saves as the Ducks tried to distract him.

Patrick Marleau has points in seven of his past eight games, and one in every stop on this trip as his experience against the Kings, Ducks and familiarity with San Jose came in handy. He’ll be counted on in January when Leafs have another extended run against the West.