HELSINKI, Finland -- Brent Sutter has completely moved on. Theres been an undeniable enthusiasm radiating from Canadas coach throughout the IIHF World Hockey Championship -- a job opportunity that came directly on the heels of a mutual decision to part ways with the Calgary Flames last month. "With everything that happened there so quickly (it was good) to get away from it and come over and coach a team thats about all the right things," Sutter said Monday after practice. "These guys have all jelled together as a team, the leaders are tremendous team guys, its a talented group, its a young group with some experience on it that knows how to win. "As a coach its been great." By coincidence, the invitation from Hockey Canada came the same day Sutter split with the Flames and gave him the opportunity to throw himself directly into a new challenge. He wasted little time. It started with phone calls to every player before they departed for Europe and has continued with a unique approach to the tournament. Sutter and assistants Guy Boucher and Kirk Muller made a conscious decision not to overload the players with too much talk of systems and elected to have them skate just a handful of times while opening with six games in nine days. The team went 5-0-1 over that stretch and needs just one point from Tuesdays game against Belarus to clinch top spot in the Helsinki pool heading to the medal round. "The only chance you have is, first and foremost, to become unified," said Sutter. "Thats what we focused in on here right off the hop, is becoming a better team and not complicating things -- lets simplify things, lets keep it so theres structure and yet something that you can allow their talent and skill to flourish in." An added benefit comes from the makeup of the roster. Ten players had previously played under Sutter, including eight that won a world junior championship with him in either 2005 or 2006. That level of familiarity has resulted in a unique atmosphere around the dressing room. "Its not just me knowing them, its them knowing me," said Sutter. "When you have success -- and every one of those guys that Ive coached in there through international competition, weve had success -- that bond is always there. "When you win something together as a group, its always going to be there." Those players have come to appreciate Sutters straightforward approach. There isnt much mystery about what he wants to see on the ice. "Hes a real good coach and hes done a real good job here so far working on a lot of little things with our group," said defenceman Dion Phaneuf, who played for Sutter in Red Deer, the 2005 world junior tournament and with the Flames. "Hes a coach that demands hard work and an honest effort every night. When you do that, hes happy." Sutter has been almost giddy during the past two weeks in Finland. On a number of occasions, he has raved about the experience of working with Hockey Canadas impressive management team, which includes Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe, Toronto Maple Leafs director of hockey operations Dave Nonis and four NHL general managers: Peter Chiarelli (Boston), Steve Yzerman (Tampa), Ken Holland (Detroit) and Doug Armstrong (St. Louis). "Its been first class all the way," said Sutter. "All of these guys have had success. At some point in time in their career, theyve won and they know what it takes. ... Theres no insecurity involved -- everything is about trust. "Its been really good. When youre on good teams and teams that won, those things are huge for you." Sutter has done virtually nothing but win on the international stage, racking up 24 victories, one tie and one overtime loss while coaching at two world junior tournaments, the 2007 Russia-Canada Super Series and this world championship. However, he chalks that superb record up to good circumstances and noted Monday that hes seen the other side of the coin during coaching stints in the NHL. Starting in 2007, Sutter spent two years with the New Jersey Devils before leaving to take a job from his brother Darryl in Calgary. The Flames narrowly missed out on the playoffs in all three years he coached there before he and GM Jay Feaster, who replaced Darryl Sutter in December 2010, decided it was best if they each moved in a different direction. "When you look at the New Jersey situation, it was two years and we had some pretty good success there through regular season and we werent able to get through that first round of playoffs," said Sutter. "But we broke a franchise record there for wins (in 2008-09). "And unfortunately things didnt work out the way you would have liked to in Calgary. Thats just the way it is, thats sports. You cant do anything about it and you move on." Mike Alstott Jersey
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. Duff, a fourth-year urban planning student from Moncton, N.B., scored five of the Stingers six goals last weekend, including both game-winners, as Concordia stayed in the hunt for a playoff spot thanks to a pair of shutout victories against Bishops, 4-0, and UQAM, 2-0. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Moore pitched up to the lofty recent standards set by the Tampa Bay pitching staff. And when the Rays added some hits and runs, that made things look easy. Moore threw six sharp innings, Jose Lobaton drove in three runs and the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 Thursday for a three-game sweep. "Our staff and our entire lineup right now, were playing well," Moore said after winning in the finale of a six-game homestand. "Its a very good time for us in this clubhouse, and theres a lot of looking forward to going on the road right now." Moore (9-7) gave up one run and two hits, retiring 14 straight batters during one stretch. He won his third straight start, striking out six and walking two. That kind of pitching has become routine for the Rays, who have allowed more than one run in only six of their last 19 games. Hitting has been another matter. The Rays took the ALs worst batting average (.230) and lowest scoring output (441 runs) into the game, but Evan Longoria drove in two runs and had three hits. Jeff Keppinger also had three of Tampa Bays 13 hits. The Rays got seven runs after scoring only nine in he first five games of the homestand. Longoria, who missed 85 games with a partially turn hamstring, came inches short of his first home run since April. His RBI double in the eighth inning was close enough for the umpire crew to review before determining it had bounced off a rail and back into play. It would have been the Rays first home run in five games. "With the addition of guys like Longo, I think everybody else is able to relax a bit and gain some confidence, and once youre able to do that, things start rolling," outfielder Matt Joyce said. Tampa Bay has won 16 straight series against Toronto at Tropicana Field. The Rays have won six of eight games overall while the Blue Jays have lost 15 of their last 19. "I truly believe it can become contagious, offensively speaking," manager Joe Maddon said.dddddddddddd "Its all based on confidence." The confidence of the Rays pitching staff has never been higher. It has reached the point where Moores first two innings on Thursday were considered something of a struggle. "The start of the game wasnt the way I wanted to start -- 27 pitches in the top half," he said. "I just didnt quite have the feel for things there in the first inning." Rajai Davis led off the game with a double and scored the Blue Jays run on Moores balk. It was the only run given up by Moore in his last three starts. The rookie left-hander is 8-2 with a 2.92 ERA since the end of May. "Obviously Im extremely pleased with where Ive come from the beginning of the season," he said. "After not putting together too many quality starts, now Im getting a little more hungry for the eighth or ninth inning, just to see what those are like." An error on first baseman Edwin Encarnacion opened the way for the Rays three-run second inning off Henderson Alvarez (7-9). Alvarez gave up 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings. NOTES: The Blue Jays placed 3B Brett Lawrie on the disabled list in order to give him eight more days to recover from an injury in his rib/oblique area. Toronto will fill Lawries roster spot before Friday nights game ... Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann, on the disabled list since May 15 with a fractured right fibula, will make a second rehabilitation start Monday or Tuesday and hopes to return by the end of August. ... Rays DH Luke Scott (strained right oblique) will begin a rehab assignment Friday. ... Ben Zobrist played shortstop for the Rays for the first time since 2009 . . . INF Brooks Conrad has accepted his re-assignment, and the Rays released Matt Mangini to make room for Conrad on the Durham roster. ' ' '