ants 3B Pablo Sandoval, who left Saturdays g

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ants 3B Pablo Sandoval, who left Saturdays g

Příspěvekod lw789 » pát 20. črc 2018 7:14:29

MONTREAL – The question was posed to Jonathan Bernier, perhaps the busiest netminder in the National Hockey League this season and a man who has witnessed the strength of terrific defensive hockey in Los Angeles firsthand en route to a Cup in 2012: Can his Toronto Maple Leafs, currently the top wild card in the East, threaten a deep playoff run without raising their substandard level of defensive play? "Goalies got to be good," Bernier said with an almost uncomfortable laugh. "I personally dont think so," he continued frankly. "Because some games [the goalie] wont get those bounces and [the puck is] going to go in somehow. But we know weve got it in this room. Weve just got to pay the price to play better defensively and, if we do, Im pretty sure we can be one of the top teams in this league." Its an uncomfortable truth for a team that wrung up 11 wins in 14 games before the Olympic break and has designs on making noise in the playoffs after a long-awaited return last spring. This is a hockey club that struggles badly to defend and relies most nights on terrific goaltending and an incredibly potent offence to win. Its a formula that might yield success in the regular season, and it has for the Leafs thus far, but is unlikely to gain much steam when the hockey tightens in mid-April. Head coach Randy Carlyle has been beating the drum loudly on the topic all season, but doesnt have much to show for it. His group remains a work in progress. "Weve been trying and stressing that defensive hockey is whats going to give your team the best chance to qualify for the playoffs," said Carlyle after an instructive practice in Brossard, Quebec. "[But] were in the qualification mode. Were not in the playoff mode [yet]." Only five teams have been worse than the Leafs defensively this season and only one of those teams, the Ottawa Senators, has any hope of qualifying for the playoffs. Toronto has allowed a bloated three goals per game despite boasting some of the finest goaltending in the league with the 25-year-old Bernier. No team, in fact, puts more pressure on their goaltender to be great than do the Leafs. Only Mike Smith in Phoenix has faced more shots than Bernier thus far and hes started 10 more games than the native of Laval. "I think weve seen it," said Bernier of sturdy defensive play. "I think everyones seen it, but I dont think weve seen it consistently enough." Hurting the effort is a bad penalty kill, one thats allowed the most goals (tied) in the league this season, an unstable defence which includes young and growing parts like Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner and a high-end forward group that has shown only spotty attention to defence. A pile of goals and timely goaltending have been required most nights to win. That was true during an 11-2-1 run before the 18-day Olympic stoppage. Running, then, behind the all-world efforts of Phil Kessel, who has been the hottest player on the planet in 2014, the club scored 51 goals – 3.64 per game – but also allowed 41 on the other end. Theyve won despite being outshot in 36 of 48 games – they have a record of 21-10-5 in those games – and despite the fact that theyve allowed a league-high of more than 36 shots per game. Cody Franson, second on the back-end in minutes, believes the instability is tied to confusion in the defensive end, too much thinking rather quick instinctual reaction. "I think were still a little indecisive on things sometimes," he said. "We try and play a quite aggressive style of defence and sometimes when you think too much you end up being a half second slow compared to where you should be. That comfort level just isnt quite there with us yet. I think we still think about things too much." They allowed five in their most recent affair against the Islanders on Thursday night, an overtime loss to a struggling club that was without its best player and leading scorer, John Tavares, and their third leading point-getter in Frans Nielsen. Two of the goals came by way of short circuiting on the power-play with Michael Grabner scoring twice shorthanded in a span of 48 seconds on the same power-play. Another found the back of the net via the aforementioned penalty kill with two more coming on defensive breakdowns, including the overtime winner. "Gifts," said Carlyle after the 5-4 defeat. "Ive got no other word to describe the goals that we gave up." A drastic reversal at this late stage in the year seems unlikely, though Carlyle and the coaching staff continue to push and prod. They did so with any available ice during the Olympic break and continued at practice Friday, narrowing their sights on a tighter neutral zone and improved forecheck – efforts aimed at spending less time in the defensive zone. But with just 21 games to play, including a division clash with the Canadiens on Saturday, its probably safe to say that this is what these Maple Leafs are. The question now is whether they can, as currently constructed, make a little noise in the postseason (assuming they get in) or whether their defensive liabilities will prove too onerous to overcome. Last spring, they nearly toppled a Bruins giant, but required some lightning in a bottle and forgotten brilliance from James Reimer in Games 5 and 6. History points emphatically in the direction of those that can defend. In fact, the last three Stanley Cup winners finished the regular season as either the best or second-best team defensively. And though the Leafs are not yet in the Cup conversation, that remains the goal somewhere down the road. Dave Nonis and the Toronto management team have to be mindful of that fact as it relates to the larger construction of the roster, both now with the Mar. 5 trade deadline looming and over the longer term with the core thats being put into place. Are these the foundations of a club that can eventually win the ultimate prize? "You always see it every year, strong defensive teams win," said Jay McClement. "I think we have the make-up for it. But not without being strong defensively. Obviously, youre not going to win a lot of games 5-4 in the playoffs. We have the goaltending for it and have had it all year. Weve just got to cut down on these mistakes and well be fine. "Were not changing the way we do it, weve just got to do it better." Custom San Francisco 49ers Jerseys . -- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice tweeted an apparent goodbye after a report about his pending release. San Francisco 49ers Jerseys . The league-leading New York Rangers outhit and outmuscled the Maple Leafs during a 3-0 victory on Saturday. Backup goalie Martin Biron stopped all 20 shots he faced to complete a nice workmanlike effort by the visitors. http://www.thesf49ersshoponline.com/You ... ersey/.com) - Intrastate rivals collide Saturday as the Texas State Bobcats hit the road to take on the eighth-ranked Texas Longhorns in a non-conference battle at Frank Erwin Center. Jimmy Garoppolo 49ers Jersey . -- Rodney Stuckey scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and the Detroit Pistons beat the New York Knicks for the first time in eight meetings, 92-86 on Tuesday night. Jeff Locke 49ers Jersey . Kevin Durant certainly played like there was on Sunday night, scoring 36 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Thunder made quick work of the visiting Pacers with a 118-94 win.OAKLAND, Calif. -- The San Francisco Giants have dominated the baseball headlines in the Bay Area since winning the World Series in 2010 and 2012. The Oakland Athletics have swiped most the attention back after taking over the best record in the majors this summer. And when the two teams met for the first time this season, both continued to head in opposite directions. Jesse Chavez matched a career high with nine strikeouts in six innings, and three relievers pitched scoreless ball to lead the As past the Giants 5-0 on Monday night for their fifth straight win. "Its exciting to be part of the Oakland Athletics right now," said third baseman Josh Donaldson, one of six As players named to the AL All-Star team. The As have been among baseballs best and most consistent clubs all season. Then they made a surprising trade to get right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs on Friday for three minor leaguers, including top prospect Addison Russell. Oakland also leads the majors with their All-Star selections, the clubs most since 1975. Sundays announcement didnt even include Samardzija, who was selected as a National League All-Star but is ineligible to play. The banged-up Giants, on the other hand, had lost 18 of 23 to fall out of first place in the NL West -- where they once held a 9 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers -- but showed signs of coming out of their slump by winning two in a row at San Diego over the weekend. Instead, the two-time defending AL West champion As put together the kind of all-around effort theyve had most of the season in the Bay Bridge Series opener. Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run double, and three others drove in a run to power the As in front of an announced sellout crowd of 36,067 festive fans at the Coliseum. The worn-down stadium had a colorful sprinkling of green and gold from Oakland revelers mixed with the orange and black of San Francisco supporters -- many of whom left before the final out. Chavez (7-5) allowed four hits and two walks to help extend the As record to a major-league best 56-33. Fernando Abad, Dan Otero and Ryan Cook shut down San Francisco the final three innings. "We all like to feed off each other," Chavez said. "Were just playing good baseball, and were excited to be back home.dddddddddddd" Ryan Vogelsong (5-6) lost his third straight start for the Giants, who had just five hits. The right-hander gave up five hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out four, walked two and hit a pair of batters, leading to the As first two runs. Oakland started its scoring surge after home plate umpire Paul Nauert ruled Craig Gentry was hit by a pitch on his hand leading off the fifth. Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the play, which was upheld after a video review. Gentry stole second, advanced to third on Coco Crisps bunt single and scored on John Jasos groundout for the As first run. Josh Donaldson also was hit by a pitch by Vogelsong on his left hand leading off the sixth. Nauert originally called it a strike before seeing Donaldsons hand swell. Then Nauert asked first base umpire Angel Hernandez if Donaldson, who said his hand was just sore afterward, swung at the pitch. Hernandez signalled no, and Bochy came out and had a heated conversation with Nauert after the call, wondering how it could be reversed. "Then it got ugly," Bochy said. Callaspo came through later in the inning with a two-run double off Juan Gutierrez to extend Oaklands lead to 3-0. Brandon Moss and Donaldson each drove in a run off Gutierrez in the seventh after Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford committed two throwing errors. The teams will play in Oakland again on Tuesday night before the series shifts to San Francisco for the final two games. NOTES: Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval, who left Saturdays game because of a bruised left elbow after he was hit while swinging at a pitch, sat out for the second straight game. ... Athletics RF Josh Reddick took batting practice and fielded fly balls for the first time since re-aggravating his right knee injury June 28 at Miami. ... Giants 2B Marco Scutaro (back) went 1 for 3 with an RBI single in his first rehab assignment for Triple-A Fresno on Monday night at Sacramento. ... Giants CF Angel Pagan was sent to Arizona to resume his rehabilitation from a nagging back injury. ... Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner (9-6, 3.09 ERA) takes the mound opposite Oaklands Sonny Gray (8-3, 3.08) on Tuesday. White NFL Jerseys Cheap Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys ' ' '
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