TORONTO - The backwards Toronto Marlies hat on Brandon Kozuns head told a story of where he came from and where he seemed likely to go at some point during training camp. Steve Rucchin Jersey .But this was the morning of the final pre-season game and Kozun was sitting at his locker at Air Canada Centre, not Ricoh Coliseum down the street. He was squished in next to the goaltenders, but most importantly he was still in camp with the Maple Leafs.I must be doing something right to still be here, the unassuming five-foot-eight winger said Saturday.Even after capping his standout pre-season with a three-point effort a night earlier, Kozun said he didnt wasnt going to celebrate yet. After all, the opening-night roster doesnt have to be finalized until Tuesday afternoon, but all indications are the 24-year-old hasnt just made the Leafs but could have a prominent role to start the season.Kozun practised on the second line Saturday alongside Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri, and even if hes not there when the NHL regular season begins Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, he can be expected to kill penalties and play some decent minutes.Hes a young player just trying to earn an opportunity to play in the NHL every day, start in the NHL, coach Randy Carlyle said. Hes never done this before.Three weeks ago, Kozun looked like an afterthought, a potential top-six forward in the minors and maybe a call-up down the line. It didnt appear that he had a legitimate chance to make the 23-man roster, but the mind of a pro athlete cant function like that.If you come into a camp with the thought that you have no chance, youre not going to make it, Kozun said. Theres something to be said about positive thinking. It wasnt really about making the roster as it was to try and just improve every day.Kozun did have a leg up because Carlyle remembered watching him last season with the Marlies.He was the player that stood out the most, Carlyle said. It was easy to see his skill-set and his speed because he was a guy that was on the puck and hes transferred that to pre-season and our training camp here.At times in exhibition games it has looked like the puck is magnetically attracted to Kozun. Part of that is the instinct to be in the right place at the right time and another is his speed a€” a quick first step and a burst beyond.He flies up and down the ice, said James van Riemsdyk, who played with Kozun on Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. He makes a lot happen with his speed out there. You see him a couple times, especially on the penalty kill and hes disrupting their breakout and drawing things and making things happen.Kozun acknowledges he has had a longer road than some other guys to get to the NHL. Born in Los Angeles, Kozun began playing hockey when he was three and moved to Calgary with his family when he was 10.Born to a Canadian mother and American father, Kozun chose to play internationally for Canada and won a silver medal at the 2010 world junior championship.I felt like the bulk of my developing came in Canada, Kozun said. I moved to Canada when I was 10 years old, its a pretty young age. When you grow up from 10 on, thats a bulk of your years. I think my mom kind of raised us a bit more Canadian than American.Kozun played for the WHLs Calgary Hitmen and was a sixth-round pick of the Kings in 2009. He played three full seasons in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs before a trade to the Leafs in January.Its not the easiest thing when youre in the minors for four years and maybe you start to doubt it a little bit when you see other guys that are younger than you getting called up and all that, Kozun said. I think when I first came out of junior I was pretty offensive-heavy. Maybe at that point I thought I was ready, but youre naive. As you get older I think you mature as a person and as a player.That was the big thing for me: Just learning to be a complete player and learning to be a pro.Kozun thinks the time in the minors and the adversity made him a better player.If it werent for that, I wouldnt be who I am today, he said.What Kozun is today is an NHL player. But the rest of the roster remains in flux because of an uncertain injury picture.Centre Tyler Bozak (lower-body injury), winger Josh Leivo (bruised foot) and defenceman Cody Franson (bruised knee) missed Saturdays practice, and star winger Phil Kessel (lower-body injury) left after roughly 15 minutes. Franson skated for a bit at the end and voiced optimism about being ready for Wednesday, but Carlyle didnt finalize anything regarding the status of any of the injured players.I still think we have a couple days before we make that final assessment on everybody, Carlyle said.A handful of jobs could be determined by those injuries, as bubble players like forwards Matt Frattin, Carter Ashton, Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren and defencemen Stuart Percy and Korbinian Holzer await news. Percy looks like a good bet to make it no matter what.Leivos health could factor into where Kozun plays, but just being in the picture has made it a successful camp for him.Hes been noticeable, Carlyle said of Kozun. Weve got lots of decisions to make and theres bodies to fill in and Kozys made it a lot easier to make some decisions.---Follow @SWhyno on Twitter Jari Kurri Jersey . The pair ended pointless droughts when they each scored two goals in a 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets that halted a two-game losing skid for the Stars (15-11-5). Ryan Miller Jersey . In the days leading up to the draft, TSN.ca and TSN Radio basketball analyst Duane Watson looks at some of the names that will be headlining the event. Watch the 2014 NBA Draft on TSN, Thursday at 7pm et/4pm pt. https://www.cheapducks.com/ .com) - Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending May 11. HOUSTON -- The Los Angeles Clippers used a strong defensive effort and a spark from reserve Jamal Crawford at the just the right time to salvage a win on their three-game road trip. Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick scored 22 points, and the Clippers had an 18-0 run in the second half to rally for a 107-94 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Crawford had 16 points, Chris Paul added 14 points and 13 assists and DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and 18 rebounds for the Clippers. Griffin also had seven rebounds and Redick shot 8 for 15 from the field. Darren Collison added 10 points off the bench. Los Angeles trailed 71-60 with about 5 minutes to go in the third quarter before its big run that lasted into the opening minutes of the fourth. "I kept telling them to hang in there," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "We hung around and got it going and our defence won the game. Houston had, I think five points in the last six minutes (of the third quarter), and 37 points in the whole second half for a good offensive team. I thought Darren Collison was fantastic and Jamal made big shots." Los Angeles shot 14 for 23 on free throws, but just 9 for 24 on 3-pointers. Dwight Howard had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets, but was just 5 for 11 on free throws. Chandler Parsons added 23 points and eight rebounds, while Patrick Beverley scored 19 points. James Harden, who was a game-time decision with a bruised left foot, had 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting. Houston finished 17 of 27 from the free throw line. Trailing by 11, the Clippers scored the final 13 points of the third quarter to take a two-point lead on a tip-in by Crawford at the buzzer. "We were on the line trying to get it to 13, and then it just snowballed from there," Houston coach Kevin McHale said about the end of the third quarter. "We missed some shots, and we started doubting it and we stopped taking some shots that we needed to take. Then, we got a lot of turnovers and we just got really passive. We just got nothing going from that point on." Los Angeles kept the run going to start the fourth, with Crawford capping it with a three-point play with 10:21 remaining in the game to increase the lead to 78-71. Crawford had seven points and Jared Dudley added five points in the spurt that lasted nearly seven minutes. "Chris got it started being a spark plug for us," Crrawford said about what changed in the third. Korbinian Holzer Jersey. . "I think it was kind of slow to start the game, and we just followed the lead and coach kept challenging us to get defensive stops because that breaks a teams spirits. Our offence was coming from our defence." Paul pointed to the Clippers defensive intensity as a reason for the run. "We knew that this was a team that made some runs, but at the same time, they will let you back into the game," Paul said. "Once we started the third quarter, we came out and played with a lot more purpose, more passion. That tip in by Jamal at the end of the third quarter was huge for us." Houston pulled to 84-80 on Hardens three-point play with 7:21 remaining, but that would be as close as they would get. Los Angeles had a 9-3 run over the next three minutes to increase the advantage to 92-83 on Griffins free throw with 4:15 to go. Houston tried a Hack a Jordan tactic with 3 minutes remaining, and despite Jordan missing both free throws, Los Angeles countered by fouling Howard and taking Jordan out of the game. Howard made a free throw to get the Rockets to 97-90, but Redick hit two free throws and Collison made a 3-pointer with 1:39 remaining to stretch the lead to 102-90. Los Angeles outscored the Rockets 27-16 in the third quarter and 61-39 in the second half. "We just stopped playing the way we had played to get the lead, and when you are playing against a team like the Clippers, theyve been together a couple of years and play well together," Howard said. "We had to continue to do things that got us the lead, and we didnt do that tonight and they capitalized on it. They got a good road win." The Clippers opened up an 18-8 lead midway through the first quarter as Redick scored eight of Los Angeles first 10 points. Houston finished the quarter on an 11-0 run over the final 3:40 of the period. Howard had 10 points in the first, including the first four of the run. Houston kept it up in the second quarter, extending the lead to 10 at 39-29 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Beverley with 7:26 left in the period. The Rockets led 55-46 at halftime. NOTES: Los Angeles F Matt Barnes missed his third straight game with a right thigh contusion. ... Beverley had a career-high four steals. ... The Sandau Trio Russian Bar, who were on "Americas Got Talent" performed at halftime. ' ' '