, but theres still a lot of room to go." NO

14 Czerwiec, 2018 - 07:11

TORONTO - Jonathan Bernier came back to try and help end a losing streak. By the time the goaltender and the Toronto Maple Leafs left Air Canada Centre, they were out of a playoff spot. Bernier returned from a five-game absence and did his best to keep the Leafs in it against the St. Louis Blues. But a plethora of other mistakes against one of the NHLs top teams Tuesday night ultimately resulted in a 5-3 defeat, their sixth in a row. "Its a hard league," Blues goaltender Ryan Miller said of the Leafs struggles. "Youve got to keep it all together." Things have seemingly fallen apart in just under two weeks time. The loss, coupled with the Blue Jackets beating the Red Wings and the Capitals picking up a point against the Los Angeles Kings, dropped the Leafs out of a wild-card position. Though all four teams have 80 points, Columbus and Detroit held the wild-card spots at the end of the night, ahead of the Capitals and then the Leafs because of games played. Not long ago Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division, and now it looks like the season is slipping away. "Certainly were afraid of letting it slip away," said winger Joffrey Lupul, whose early goal was the first time Toronto opened the scoring in eight games. "The whole year weve thought we were a playoff team, and we still believe that now. ... Theres reason for concern, but its not completely time to panic. Were still right there." Winger James van Riemsdyk, whose goal at 15:54 of the third period cut the Leafs deficit to a goal, said that the team has "100 per cent" faith that things can turn around with just eight games remaining. "We have a lot of confidence in our abilities and a belief in ourselves and believe in the guys in the room," van Riemsdyk said. "This thing is obviously far from over." At some point the Leafs (36-30-8) must show that instead of just talking about it. They were unable to do that against the Blues, who passed the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the league thanks to a hat trick from David Backes and one goal apiece from T.J. Oshie and former Leafs forward Alex Steen. Though Bernier allowed four goals, his return from a groin injury was more memorable for some of the big saves he made among his 44. The 25-year-old No. 1 goalie gave his team a chance, but too much continued to go wrong in front of and around the net. Lupul said a good team is supposed to bail its goalie out and vice-versa. That didnt happen for James Reimer in the first five games of this slide, and that continued with Bernier. "When you get in a slide like this its easy to start pin-pointing individuals, which is fair, but as a group we look at it like, if theres a mistake made by someone, someone else steps up and makes a play for them," Lupul said. "And we just havent been doing quite enough of that right now." Captain Dion Phaneuf hesitated twice to clear the puck on a late-first-period penalty kill before the Blues forced a turnover and scored, then was beaten by Steen in front of the net on the fourth goal St. Louis scored. Phaneuf was not made available to speak to reporters, leaving coach Randy Carlyle to answer for some of the defencemans poor play. "He and (Cody) Franson have been the top pairing on our blue line, as far as the offensive side of it, all year," Carlyle said. "In tonights situation, he had a rough night." Phaneuf could be blamed for at least two goals against, but he wasnt alone in having a rough night against the Blues (49-16-7), who showed early and often why theyre a Stanley Cup contender. "It was a 5-3 game where I think we couldve scored 10 goals tonight," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said in a nod to Bernier. "We had so many scoring opportunities, and I thought for the most part until we got careless and started to get fancy around the net instead of burying it that we were really playing one of our top games." During the first period, St. Louis hemmed the Leafs in their own end, putting 23 shots on net, a season high for Toronto. "I dont know," Lupul said. "We couldnt break their cycle, we couldnt get the puck." Had the Leafs managed to go into the first intermission tied 1-1, as Carlyle pointed out, they would have been fortunate. But Phaneufs mistake led to a power-play goal by Backes with 32.3 seconds left. Backes had to beat Bernier, too, but he did that twice and added an empty netter for his second career hat trick. "Theres something about this barn and this stage," Backes said. "Theres obviously a special thing about being in Toronto. The buzz in the air and everyones talking about the Leafs. Every establishments got a neon Leafs sign of some sort. This is kind of the Mecca for hockey here in Toronto." Hockey Mecca includes many more people panicking even after the Leafs lost to a much better team in the Blues. Van Riemsdyk repeatedly pointed out that the Blues are "a heck of a hockey team." Theres no disputing that, only that the Leafs couldnt find a way to end their skid. Bernier knows nothing should have to be said after this one. "If were missing motivation, at this time of the year everyone should have some," he said. "Obviously we knew it was not going to be easy. Thats a good team out there — theyre first and they showed it tonight." The Leafs showed something in trimming a three-goal deficit to one in the third period. And while thats the biggest thing theyll take from Tuesday night, its not nearly enough with the frustration building up. "Youve got to try and manage that," van Riemsdyk said. "If you play in a frustrated type of way youre no good out there. Weve got to continue to learn from things and look at the positives and kind of go from there." One positive Lupul sees is two games ahead at the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night and then back home against the Red Wings on Saturday night. "You win those two games, all of a sudden things look a lot different," he said. Until the Leafs manage to do that, things look bleak. NOTES: With Bernier back, the Leafs sent goaltender Drew MacIntyre back to the AHLs Toronto Marlies. ... Defenceman Paul Ranger was scratched for the third straight game with a neck injury. Gerard Pique Spain Jersey. Smith has spent the last three seasons with the Rockies, playing both left and right field, and has a .275 batting average with 51 homers and 181 RBIs in 487 major league games. Saul Niguez Jersey.com) - The Toronto Raptors set their sights on a second straight victory with the Oklahoma City Thunder visiting the Air Canada Centre tonight riding a two game streak of their own. http://www.spainsoccerpro.com/Marco-Asensio-Spain-Jersey/. No such luck. Wiggins owned the end of Parkers impressive homecoming. The Kansas star scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, outplaying Parker down the stretch and helping the fifth-ranked Jayhawks knock off No. Sergio Busquets Spain Jersey. Horford is out 3-to-4 months with a torn pectoral muscle for the Hawks, who have won two straight and five of six games. Atlanta improved to 2-0 on the residency with Saturdays 93-91 triumph over Minnesota, as Ivan Johnson scored his teams final four points, including the game-winning free throw with 4. Kepa Arrizabalaga Jersey. Western and the second-ranked Laval Rouge et Or (7-0) once again received 20 and 10 first-place votes from the Football Reporters of Canada panel, respectively. Rounding out the Top 10 are the Calgary Dinos (7-0), Queens Gaels (7-1), Guelph Gryphons (7-1), Montreal Carabins (5-2), Bishops Gaiters (5-2), McMaster Marauders (5-3), Manitoba Bisons (4-3) and the Saskatchewan Huskies (4-3) Western crushed York 50-10 last Saturday in its league finale to secure first place in the OUA standings and a bye in the first round of the conference playoffs.To say Mike OSheas head coaching career has started out pretty well might be a bit of an understatement — going 5-1 out of the gate with a Blue Bombers club that struggled severely last season, having numerous new faces both on the sidelines and on the field, and leaving the offence in the hands of a young quarterback who came to town with less than a handful of professional starts. And while quarterback Drew Willys heroics executing the two-minute drill in Winnipegs Week 3 and Week 6 come-from-behind road victories in Montreal and Hamilton are a big reason why the Blue Bombers sit atop the league standings, the rookie head coach continues to work to instil a single mentality in his team — if they continue to work to get better every week, they will. "Theres reasons why we have won the games weve won, and theres reasons why theyve been closer than we may have liked them to be," said OShea in his first media session since his teams 27-26 victory over Hamilton. "Theres reasons why weve lost a game, so I think its just all based on fact. Were not conjuring something up here. Were looking at the facts of why we are where we are, presenting those facts and showing them how we can be better, because its all about growth. Its all about getting better and improving every week. I mean, thats a pretty simple formula — harder to execute, obviously — but a simple mindset from the coaching staff that were going to improve every week." "Its been easier to coach and correct the mistakes after wins, so its been good that way so far for us. But its never 5-1 or skin-of-your-teeth. Its not that. Its always that, whatever that is — a consistent approach from the coaching staff. Continuing to inspect the things that are important to us, that allow us to win." Win or lose, OShea is approaching his teams preparation every week in the same way regardless of the results in the rear view mirror. "I think the coaching staff is doing what it needs to do to ensure we are consistent through our preparation," he said.dddddddddddd "Weve all agreed to coach (the players) hard, as people say, because I believe thats what they would want. Thats what they need. I think players still crave a certain amount of discipline. So if we can help them win more games by keeping that same sort of coaching style I think theyll appreciate it and theyll respond to it. So I think the way were going, the way weve gone so far and what weve done, from a coaching perspective, is the way well keep on going." But the early success begs the question; how good can the 2014 Winnipeg Blue Bombers be? "We want to play our best football right now, but hopefully our best right now pales in comparison to what our best will be at the end of the season," added OShea when asked about his team reaching a pinnacle come late-season. "But its not by design — were not thinking way in the future that we want to play our best football there. Were talking about playing our best football this week. And coaching them; correcting the mistakes along the way so that our best football is better week-in and week-out." "I think we still have a lot of room for growth, but to be where were at now I think its good so far, but theres still a lot of room to go." NOTES: Starting right guard Patrick Neufeld suffered a leg injury in the first quarter in Hamilton and was listed as doubtful to return to the game. OShea says theyll see how things shape up by the end of the week, but believes Neufelds chances of starting Thursday night are "promising" ... After missing last week with a foot injury, slotback Nick Moore remains day-to-day and will be re-assessed later in the week ... Fellow slotback Cory Watson, who has been out of the lineup since Week 1 with a hamstring injury, should begin practicing again this week but his imminent playing status remains far from certain ... Zach Anderson is also being monitored for an undisclosed injury suffered Thursday night. Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '