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n hes swinging like thi
10-11-2018, 04:36 AM
ارسال: #1
n hes swinging like thi
DETROIT – Randy Carlyle made sure he was being asked about James Reimer after a one-goal loss in Detroit, pausing before he offered an assessment of the now 26-year-old understudy. “I thought he was okay, you know, just okay,” said Carlyle with a tone of evident frustration after a 3-2 defeat to the injury-riddled Red Wings squad, the Leafs third in the past four games. Long a point of stability this season Toronto goaltending has suddenly been thrown into question with Carlyles remarks, Reimers performance and the uncertain status of injured no. 1 Jonathan Bernier. Starting in place of Bernier for the second straight game – his fourth consecutive appearance – Reimer allowed three goals on 31 shots, including a game-sealing squeaker under the left arm from Daniel Alfredsson with the Leafs down one in the final minutes of regulation. It was the kind of stop Bernier has made routinely this season, one that Reimer needed to make at that point in the game and perhaps what soured Carlyle most afterward, Torontos comeback attempt ultimately falling short. “So he said I was just okay,” said Reimer, responding to Carlyles comments. “I thought I played good, but obviously youd like to make at least one of those saves in the third.” Such blunt discontent was certainly out of character for Carlyle, who rarely, if ever, singles out any one player, even under the most obvious of circumstances. He was surely agitated by the loss – which saw the Leafs drop further behind Tampa and Montreal in the race for second in the Atlantic – unhappy with the officiating and displeased with a schedule that has his club right back at it Wednesday following 10 long days on the road. To land Reimer in the cross-hairs though on this night was unfair. His team started slowly opposite a Detroit squad that was missing a slew of key components, including Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. They also suffered breakdowns – Tim Gleason and Paul Ranger both caught flat-footed at the offensive blue-line – that led to Nyquists two breakaways, while also managing just two goals for the third time in four games (all losses). Whatever his motivation the remarks wont help a sketchy dynamic between coach and player, one that includes a very public stare-down from Reimer in the first period of a loss to these same Red Wings on Dec. 21. Further inflaming the matter afterward were the words of Reimers agent and close friend Ray Petkau, who tweeted, "As is customary in Toronto, when your team plays poor defensively game after game you blame your goalie." Petkau later said the tweet was not in response to Carlyles comments. Doubted and dissected often throughout his Toronto tenure and a restricted free agent to be in the summer of 2014, Reimer will probably use this latest bit of critique as motivation and for the Leafs that may be a good thing. Bernier remains out for the foreseeable future (more on that in Five Points) leaving Reimer as the go-to guy in goal with key division battles ahead against the Lightning and Canadiens. They need him to regain the form he showed last year and displayed recently in relief against the Kings, a brilliant performance that saw him turn aside all 31 shots he faced in an impressive road win. “I dont know if I was great and I would like to be great, but I thought I made some good saves when I needed to,” Reimer concluded of his evening. “Unfortunately at the end, especially that third one, you want to come and make a big save for your team there. Unfortunately wasnt the case tonight.” Five Points 1. Kessel Cools Off Cooling off from an unsustainably scorching stretch that saw him post 31 points in a 17-game span, Phil Kessel had seven shots and was a force against the Red Wings, but ultimately went point-less for the fourth straight game and sixth time in the past eight. Its the fifth time this season that the 26-year-old has gone three games or more without a point. The Leafs are now 6-19-2 on such occasions, two of those wins coming in recent weeks against the Flyers and Kings. Chasing the first 40-goal season of his NHL career – he has 34 currently – Kessel has just one goal in the past eight games. James van Riemsdyk, who thrived through a recent stretch of 11 goals and 21 points in 17 games, has also cooled some, snapping a seven-game drought with the late marker in Detroit. The Leafs have leaned heavily on their top line – which also includes Tyler Bozak – for offence, needing the likes of Nazem Kadri (two goals in the past 13 games), Joffrey Lupul (two goals in the past 13), David Clarkson (one in the past 22) and Mason Raymond (the hottest of the group with six in the past 15) to chip in regularly for support. Aside from the odd contribution, however, theyve not done so consistently. Toronto forwards were responsible for only five goals (of 12) during the five-game road trip. 2. Road Trip A road trip that began with so much promise for the Leafs – following wins in Anaheim and Los Angeles – soured at the end with losses in Washington and Detroit. Toronto finishes the season-long swing with a 2-3-0 mark, not bad, but hardly desirable. “I wouldnt call it a success,” said Jake Gardiner, who scored for the fourth time in the past six games. “We were thinking three out of five wouldve been good. Two of five is okay. Games on the road are always tough, something we have to move on from.” “This game and the last game I dont think that we played as well as we have been playing or can play so thats the negative about it,” said Carlyle. “But we battled back, we didnt quit, we found a way to get two goals tonight and make a game of it. Flush this and get ready for tomorrow.” The Leafs have played two more games than the Lightning, whom they host Wednesday, and trail them by a point. They sit three back of the Canadiens, whom they face at home on Saturday. 3. Wearing Down? Second and third among Toronto forwards in ice-time this season and both key members of Team USA at the Sochi Olympics, one might be led to wonder whether Kessel and van Riemsdyk are simply wearing down at this late stage in the season. Both have seen their ice-time rise (slightly) in March as the Leafs trend toward an 11-forward, seven-defender lineup. Kessel, who had a second period breakaway attempt stopped by Jimmy Howard, actually entered the night as the team-leader in ice-time this month, averaging more than 22 minutes. van Riemsdyk was just a touch behind at nearly 22 himself. “Its been very demanding,” said Carlyle of the schedule and its effects on playing time. “Its the first time in my career that you go out on a 10-day road trip and you come back and youve got to play back-to-back at home with your first game back. I dont know where that one comes from.” van Riemsdyk led all Toronto forwards this night with more than 22 minutes, Kessel a shade behind with just under 21, including exactly nine minutes in the third. Carlyle employed eight forwards for most of that final frame as the Leafs looked to even the score. 4. Bernier Status Nursing a groin injury, Bernier remained off the ice for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday. He then missed his second straight game in Detroit and will sit out again at home on Wednesday when the Leafs host the Lightning. With a likely day off for the team on Thursday, his status for the weekend also appears in real doubt with a back-to-back looming against the Canadiens and Devils. That would mean a return next week at the earliest, all of which ups the pressure on Reimer to perform. “Theres always going to be that push to get your people back,” said Carlyle ahead of a tilt against the Red Wings. “Bottom line is the player makes the decision. All we can do is treat him medically, provide him with the right environment, give him the opportunity to test his injury if hes good enough to go and well make the decision based upon input from him the player.” Though hes split each and every back-to-back set between his two goaltenders this season, Carlyle would be hard-pressed to not come back with Reimer on Wednesday even in light of Tuesdays circumstance. Though hes enjoyed a fine season with the Marlies, Drew MacIntyre has yet to start an NHL game. 5. Phaneuf Scare Upended by the stick of David Legwand in the final frame of Tuesdays affair, Dion Phaneuf remained down on the ice before quickly departing for the Toronto dressing room. He returned to the bench a few moments later, chirping at ref Dan OHalloran for the non-call on Legwand. “Theres no point in talking about it,” said Phaneuf afterward. “It wasnt a slew foot, it was actually a stick, but its done and over with.” The Leafs captain said he had the wind knocked out of him on the play. He still managed to lead his team with more than 23 minutes on this night. Stats-Pack 2-3-0 – Leafs record on five-game road trip. 1 – Goals for Phil Kessel in the past eight games. 208 – Man games lost to injury for Toronto this season, a pittance compared to the 322 lost by Detroit, who were without the likes of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss, and Darren Helm on Tuesday night. 6-19-2 – Leafs record this season when Kessel does not record a point. 4 – Consecutive appearances by James Reimer, doing so for the first time this season. 6 – Consecutive games with a goal by the Toronto defence, four of which have come from Jake Gardiner. 5 – Goals from Toronto forwards on the five-game road trip. 41-48 – Leafs penalty kill over the past 16 games. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-4Season: 20.7% (5th) PK: 4-4Season: 78.7% (28th) Quote of the Night I “I thought he was okay, you know, just okay.” -Randy Carlyle, on the performance of James Reimer against Detroit. Quote of the Night II “So he said I was just okay. I thought I played good, but obviously youd like to make at least one of those saves in the third.” -James Reimer, in response to Carlyles assessment. Quote of the Night III “Nobodys feeling sorry for us two months ago when we were missing our top two centres. I didnt see you pointing the question at us then.” -Randy Carlyle, questioned on the Red Wings injury troubles ahead of Tuesdays game. Up Next The Leafs host the Lightning Wednesday night in a key division battle at the ACC. Ryan Goins Jersey . 1. CAVALIERS: At 19-20, theyre a mess. Watched the game Tuesday night vs. Phoenix and their defence was poor (107 points and 52 per cent for Suns). Where is the high level play from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James (13 turnovers!)? Kevin Love looks like a man thats wondering what he got himself into. Blaine Boyer Jersey .500 ball against teams with winning records, so they needed a huge lift from somebody Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders. http://www.royalsteamproshop.com/Royals-...s-Jersey/. Team officials travelled to Los Angeles on Thursday night to meet with the free agent, a person with knowledge of the plans said. Whit Merrifield Jersey . Milan was held to 1-1 at home by Torino. Cagliari scored six minutes from halftime when Mauricio Pinilla blasted home from the penalty spot after Facundo Roncaglia tripped Marco Sau. The home side could have doubled its tally in stoppage time as first Fiorentina defender Stefan Savic almost scored an own goal then Albin Ekdals shot clipped the top of the upright. Wily Peralta Jersey . Right-hander Todd Redmond took the loss. Jose Bautista hit his second home run of the spring. Here are a handful of tidbits from around camp: Hutchison impressive The Blue Jays are being cautious when talking about their young arms but internally, excitement is building over the way Drew Hutchison is looking and performing this spring.PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Tiger Woods says its way too early to hit the panic button. Then again, its too early by his standards to be getting up on a Saturday morning to play a PGA Tour event. But at least hes still playing. Already off to the slowest start of his career, Woods had to scramble on the back nine just to make the cut in the Honda Classic. Woods hit only two greens over his final nine holes. His lone birdie on the back nine was on the 13th hole, when he missed the green with a wedge and then chipped in for birdie. His par on the final hole gave him a 1-under 69 -- the first time in six rounds he had broken par at PGA National -- and left him 11 shots behind Rory McIlroy. Woods tees off at 7:38 a.m. Saturday. He should be done before the leaders even show up at the course to eat lunch. "Its a grind. Theres no doubt about it," Woods said. Golf looks anything but that to McIlroy, the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland who has yet to play a 72-hole tournament this season when he didnt have a chance going into the weekend. McIlroy ran off six birdies in a 10-hole stretch for a 4-under 66. He was at 11-under 129, one shot ahead of Brendon de Jonge, who had a 64. Woods began his year at Torrey Pines, where he his eight pro victories included a U.S. Open, and he didnt make it to Sunday. He failed to make the 54-hole cut (which kicks in when more than 78 players make the cut) and tied for 80th. Then it was off to Dubai, where he had won twice. He was never a factor and tied for 41st, his worst showing in seven appearances. Anything wrong? "Its only three events," Woods said, hiding his annoyance at the question. "So not that many rounds into it." Woods has played nine rounds of competition in the last three months. He has broken 70 only twice -- a 68 in the first round of Dubai and a 69 on Friday at the Honda Classic. Until this year, he had never started without at least one finish in the top 20. Woods wasnt ready to rule out a turnaround even this week. "I would like to obviously hit it better than I have been, and especially today. I didnt hit it very good today," he said. "But again, I fought out a number, which is always a good thing. Somehow would like to put together a good weekend. Were all bunched in there. Anythiing can happen this weekend.dddddddddddd" Being 11 shots behind in a 79-man field typically does not constitute one of those "anything can happen" weekends, though stranger things have occurred. Regardless, he looks to be miles away from the real action at the Honda Classic. And that starts with McIlroy. Boy Wonder won this tournament two years ago to reach No. 1 in the world for the first time. That was good. As the defending champion, he was so frustrated with his game and the mounting expectations that he walked off the golf course after 26 holes. That was bad. "This year is obviously a lot different," McIlroy said. "Got off to a good start. Im confident. Im playing well. This is the second straight tournament Ive opened with a 63. So if I can keep building on these good starts, then hopefully I can start converting." He was referring to Dubai, where he started with a 63 and then pressed too hard. As for getting off to a good start, he ostensibly meant his season. This will be the third straight stroke-play event of the year where he is a major presence on the weekend. Friday was another step in the right direction, despite errant tee shots on the 11th and 12th holes that led to bogeys. His round changed with a tee shot into 6 feet on the 16th hole for a birdie, and then a 12-foot birdie on the 18th to wrap up his front nine and earn back the two shots he had dropped. After a 45-foot birdie attempt on the second hole rimmed all the way around and out of the cup, Boy Wonder took off. He two-putted the par-5 third. He hit a wedge into 4 feet on the next hole. He rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt down the hill at the par-5 fifth. Then, after a tough par save on the sixth, he sank another 30-foot birdie putt that McIlroy made look routine. "Watching Rory play is amazing when hes swinging like this," Masters champion Adam Scott said. McIlroy is swinging freely and with confidence. He is starting to walk with a bit of swagger. From tee to green, his game looks solid. And on the green, it looks even better. McIlroy has taken only 49 putts through two rounds. "Thats probably the lowest putting total after 36 Ive probably had, maybe in my career," he said. "So its obviously going in the right direction." 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