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TORONTO - For most of his Maple Leafs career he played with one partner and for most of his NHL career he played on one side. Dion Phaneuf is doing neither this season. Carl Gunnarsson, long the Toronto captains partner on the teams top pair, was dealt to St. Louis in the summer and Phaneuf, amid that offseason of upheaval, was moved to the mostly unfamiliar left side. Thus, the Leafs are boasting a new-look top pair this season, one that includes Phaneuf on the left and Cody Franson, now in his sixth NHL season, on the right. The results thus far - and its still quite early - have been encouraging. Phaneufs even-strength possession numbers have spiked more than 10 percentage points from last season (51.5 per cent Fenwick) and those same underlying numbers look even better with Franson - Stephane Robidas started the year there before moving down the lineup. Its all helped in the Leafs slow push to becoming a better possession team. The 29-year-old Phaneuf is still squaring off against some very difficult competition - he faced the most challenging action of any defender last year - but isnt being buried as consistently in the defensive zone - up to 42 per cent offensive zone starts. Head coach, Randy Carlyle has made use of the newly added Roman Polak in the most defensive of situations - not to mention rookie Stuart Percy - thereby sparing Phaneuf from some of the heavy burden he assumed a year ago. Maple Leafs general manager, Dave Nonis, conceded on July 1st - after the team had landed Polak and then Robidas with a three-year deal in free agency - that Phaneuf could move to his strong side in the coming year and while Phaneuf concedes to an ongoing adjustment, he believes its been overblown some in the early weeks this fall. He spoke to TSN.ca about those challenges and the differences of playing with a new partner this season. SIEGEL: New partner, new side, whats been more difficult in terms of that adjustment? PHANEUF: To be completely honest with you, I think its been a good adjustment. It was a little bit different earlier in training camp shifting to the left side; that was a little bit of an adjustment early in camp. But now I feel very comfortable. Its something that I feel thats there more attention paid to than there should be, because the reality of it is that, yeah, Im playing a different side, but Ive played there before and I feel very comfortable there now. SIEGEL: Well, I guess the argument goes that you played the right your whole career or most of your career, [defensive] routes are different, you see the ice differently, it should be difficult… PHANEUF: Yeah, I havent found it difficult to switch. It was an adjustment early in camp. But as soon as I got through the first few exhibition games Ive felt more comfortable game after game. But now Im used to playing that side now. Now if I go back to the other side it feels a little bit different. SIEGEL: Really? PHANEUF: Yeah, so Im comfortable playing that side. And then when you have a new partner theres always an adjustment period, but I feel that me and Franny have built some real good chemistry early. Frannys a guy who sees the ice really well, he moves the puck really well and hes a big guy. Ive really enjoyed playing with him. We want to keep building. Partnerships and being defensive partners, theres lots that go into it; you want to communicate; you want to know each others tendencies and were still learning that. But overall, I feel really good about how weve played together and how were working on getting better together every day. SIEGEL: Well, you had said in camp that you just wanted to build those reps. Ive got all the game-logs and you played with Gunnarsson almost exclusively from the time you got here, you cant really replicate that experience… PHANEUF: Whether youre a forward or defenceman, a forward line that has played together a long time or a defensive pairing thats played together a long time, you have a lot of chemistry. You know what youre partner is going to do, where hes going to be, you read off each other - thats a big thing too is reading off of each other - where you want to support the guy, how you can support him, how he can support you. And I feel that me and Franny are working on that stuff. It is a process, but I feel that theres been a lot of positives early. SIEGEL: Overall, can you feel that youre spending less time in your own end, because the numbers suggest that? [Pause] PHANEUF: When you have a new partner and youre adjusting to playing with someone else its about playing and feeling as comfortable as you as quick as you can. I feel that weve done that. We obviously want to keep working on it, but I feel weve done lots of good things. Frannys a guy who talks a lot, he moves the puck very well, its been great playing with him. SIEGEL: Just going back to camp and the adjustment [to the left side], was it more [difficult] defensively or seeing the ice? PHANEUF: The two biggest adjustments were one, when youre moving the puck and youre breaking the puck out there is more of an advantage when youre playing your strong side because its always on your forehand. I found that part of it a positive. The other big adjustment, as a d-man, youve got shutdown areas on the ice where you like to focus on pinching guys off and angles and different spots that youre used to going to and that was an adjustment switching from one side to the other. And seeing and receiving rushes was a little bit different on the left side. SIEGEL: Its backwards right? PHANEUF: Yeah, its completely opposite, but that was early in camp and I feel really comfortable now on the left side. Authentic Tomas Tatar Jersey . They actually finished with a better record in ‘07 than they did in ‘06 but only marginally, going from 61 victories to 66. Authentic Brendan Gallagher Jersey . Groves signed with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent last year after a season with Arizona. He was in the linebacker rotation and had a sack in the season opener against Miami. http://www.cheapnhlcanadiensjerseysauthentic.com/ . However, the 38-year-old is in no hurry to sign with another team. "Im not in a rush. This will be my last contract, so I want to do it right," said Burris on Thursday. Authentic Mats Naslund Jersey . "First, I would like to offer my deepest and sincerest apologies for any harm I have inflicted on University of Missouri defensive lineman, Michael Sam," the statement read. Authentic Dickie Moore Jersey . 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First Round Selections PICK MLS CLUB PLAYER POS. 2013-14 AFFILIATION 1 Orlando Cyle Larin F Connecticut 2 New York FC Khiry Shelton F Oregon State 3 Montreal Romario Williams F Central Florida 4 San Jose Fatai Alashe M Michigan State 5 Portland Nick Besler M Notre Dame 6 Toronto Alex Bono G Syracuse 7 Chicago Matt Polster D SIU Edwardsville 8 Houston Zach Steinberger M Butler 9 Toronto Clement Simonin D North Carolina State 10 Kansas City Conor Hallisey M California 11 Toronto Skylar Thomas D Syracuse 12 Kansas City Saad Abdul-Salaam D Akron 13 Vancouver Tim Parker D St. Johns 14 Colorado Axel Sjoberg D Marquette 15 Dallas Otis Earle D UC Riverside 16 Seattle Cristian Roldan M Washington 17 D.C. 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