HARD HABIT TO BREAK With the score tied heading into the Dod

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HARD HABIT TO BREAK With the score tied heading into the Dod

Postby wangshi » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:53 am

TORONTO – Though they had won almost without exception over a span of three weeks, Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle wanted his team to know that their recent path to success was unsustainable. Clement Grenier Jersey . He challenged them to respond the right way and they did just that on a live Saturday night at the ACC. Toronto won for the eighth time in 10 games, capturing the season series with Detroit in a 4-1 win. “We want to be honest with ourselves and we want to be committed to growing our team,” Carlyle said after the victory. “You don’t grow unless you can accept that you do have faults and we all do, and they were willing to work on them to make them better.” The Leafs barely touched the puck at Joe Louis Arena three nights earlier, surrendering 42 shots while managing a paltry 30 per cent possession in a game they stole on the shoulders of James Reimer in the shootout. Steering further and further from “playing the right way” the club had allowed 37 shots on average in the previous six games, relying hard on terrific goaltending and a potent offence. It was a recipe they rode to failure last season and one that offered reason for concern ahead of the home showdown with the Wings – who played at home against Florida a night earlier. Veering back to structure with a cleaner brand of hockey on Saturday, the Leafs limited the Wings to just 28 shots, dominating possession for much of the evening. “We wanted to get [them] under 25 [shots], but 28 is much better than 40-something,” said Stephane Robidas. “I don’t have the numbers, but I think we spent more time in their zone than they spent in our zone so that’s very positive.” Imperative to that success, according to Robidas and other Leaf players afterward, was a more structured neutral zone – they made a couple tweaks ahead of game-time – one that limited easy entry into the offensive zone for Detroit and forced them to either dump the puck or turn it over. The Leafs also attacked the Wings defence with more vigour and established quite a bit more offensive zone time, doing little of either just a few nights earlier. “We knew that we had to clean it up a little bit and just play stronger,” said Morgan Rielly, who scored the third Leaf goal, his fourth of the year. Rielly was one of four Toronto goal-scorers, a year-long theme of offensive depth only continuing on this night. James van Riemsdyk, Richard Panik and Nazem Kadri also tallied goals in the victory. In question now is whether the Leafs can continue to play to such a brand on a consistent basis. It’s there from time to time but rarely with consistency. What’s changed with this group from years past, however, is the willingness to at least accept that basic fact. The turning point was that momentous 9-2 home beating by Nashville in mid-November. A group that was so stubborn in its misguided ways previously finally had to accept that something different was required. “That’s changed our group since then,” Carlyle said. The Leafs are 8-1-1 since that point, outscoring the opposition 41-22 in that span while taking full advantage of a comfy home-laden schedule. “I thought tonight was one of our best games of the year,” Jonathan Bernier said after the latest victory. Five Points 1. Impactful Night For a guy who played less than nine minutes Richard Panik sure made an impression. The 23-year-old set a new career-high with a highlight-worthy goal, dished out four hits and capped the evening with his first career NHL fight, tussling with Brendan Smith in the latter stages of victory. The benefactor of a smooth look up ice by Korbinian Holzer, Panik burst in alone on Wings goalie, Petr Mrazek in the middle period, faking him out with a nifty dangle that squirted between the pads. “It’s amazing the stuff he can do,” Robidas said, noting his observation of that skill-set daily after practice. “To pull that off the way he did in a game it’s a nice goal.” Panik eclipsed his previous career-high with the goal, now with six markers in 26 games. That’s two fewer than David Clarkson, who has garnered more than 200 additional minutes, including a whole bunch on the team’s second power-play unit. Claimed off of waivers from Tampa, Panik is averaging less than nine minutes per game. “That’s the great thing about guys like Richard,” Carlyle said, “you know that there is more there…he’s a dangerous player to play in the situation he’s playing.” 2. Back-to-Backs The Leafs played the first half of their seventh back-to-back, tied for the second-most in the league with 18 this season. “If you check the record in the league of the second half of back-to-backs you’ll be surprised at the success of the team that’s played the night before,” Carlyle said Saturday morning, referring to the Wings, who were playing their second in as many nights. And while they improved to 3-3-0 in the first game of those back-to-backs, the Leafs actually do boast a far more impressive mark with shorter rest. They enter Sunday’s early game against the Kings (5 p.m. start) with a 4-1-1 mark. Carlyle prepares his team to approach the two-game sets as a six-period affair. “We’re preparing ourselves now for period four,” he said. “It’s a long intermission.” 3. Home Ice Playing their 19th game at the ACC on Saturday the Leafs are nearly halfway through their home schedule. And they’ve managed to take advantage, now boasting a 12-7-0 overall mark with seven wins in the past eight games. The road will become familiar soon enough. Following another home date with Flyers on Dec. 20th, the Leafs will play 16 of 20 games away from Toronto. 4. Upside Bet In late July the Leafs made a bet on Jake Gardiner’s upside, signing the recently turned 24-year-old for five years at a cap hit of more than $4 million annually. That upside has showed up periodically through the first two-plus months of the season, but rarely in any kind of consistent fashion. Gardiner can dazzle one shift and befuddle on the next. Cody Franson, his most frequent defence partner in Toronto, detailed precisely what Gardiner does when he’s performing at a high level. “I think when he’s playing his best hockey he’s playing with confidence,” said Franson. “You see him rolling off guys in our zone and holding onto the puck and then he makes that quick play and then he’s jumping up in the play right after that. He moves the puck quickly and jumps into plays; [that’s] when he’s at his best. Sometimes he tries to do a lot. He’s one of those guys that’s capable of doing a lot of things; he can get up and down the ice with the best of them and he handles the puck very well. But I think when he’s at his best is when he’s moving and jumping at the same time. He does a very good job of that.” The Leafs best possession player last season, Gardiner has slipped considerably in that regard this year (at least comparatively to his teammates). Leading the team in even-strength ice last season, he’s down to third this year – behind Dion Phaneuf and Roman Polak – at just under 17 minutes per game. His offensive stats line up about even. All in all, the former first round pick has not yet taken the step many in the organization hoped he would on that fateful summer day. Gardiner played 22 minutes against Detroit. 5. Hits Franson, meanwhile, is figuring things out after nearly 350 games in the league. Toronto’s coaching staff has been pleasantly surprised by the manner in which the 27-year-old has improved defensively, pairing him with Phaneuf on the top pairing basically all year-long. Key to that improvement, Franson says, is the rawer side of the game. Physicality or lack thereof was a common complaint of the 6-5 defender throughout his career previously. “That was one of the things that Randy wanted me to really improve upon was using my size and getting in people’s way and becoming tougher to play against down low – getting more hits,” Franson said. “That knock’s followed me around my whole career. People always say I play sheltered minutes, I can’t play against good players, I’m not physical, I’m slow – that stuff’s just kind of followed me around forever. And that’s stuff that I just continue to try and improve upon to prove people wrong. I take a lot of pride in proving people wrong.” Franson, who threw five hits against Detroit, ranks 10th among all NHL defenders in hits. Stats-Pack 6 – Goals for Richard Panik this season, setting a new career-high. 12-7-0 – Leafs home record this season. 41-22 – Margin by which the Leafs have outscored the opposition since Nov. 18. 7-4-1 – Leafs record vs. the Atlantic division. 8:47 – Ice-time for Panik against Detroit. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-5 Season: 20.4% PK: 1-2 Season: 83.3% Quote of the Night “You can kind of tell he’s kind of ripped.” -Morgan Rielly, noting the strength of Richard Panik. Up Next The Leafs host the Kings on Sunday night. Diego Perotti Jersey . With their coach gone, they finally played offence the way he would have wanted. Amare Stoudemire made all seven shots in the first half, Anthony passed and shot well, and the Knicks shook off the surprising departure of their coach to rout the Portland Trail Blazers 121-79 on Wednesday night, snapping a six-game losing streak. Andrea Romagnoli Jersey .com) - Eric Fehr and Marcus Johansson each registered a pair of goals, as Washington spoiled the head coaching debut of Peter Horachek by picking up a 6-2 victory in Toronto on Wednesday. http://www.asromafcstore.com/gerson-as-roma-jersey/ .com) - John Wall supplied 24 points and 11 assists in leading the Washington Wizards to a 102-91 win over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day.LOS ANGELES -- The number of times the Los Angeles Dodgers have used Kenley Jansen -- even in non-save situations -- shows the number of close games they have played and how much success theyve had this season. Dee Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single during a three-run eighth inning and Jansen got his 41st save, leading the Dodgers to a 5-2 victory over Arizona on Saturday night. Their 14th victory in 18 meetings with the Diamondbacks kept the defending NL West champions two games ahead of San Francisco in the division standings after the Giants won 5-4 at Detroit. "You want to play these kind of games," said the Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez, who had a two-run homer. "You dont want to have blowouts, because youre going to play tight games in the playoffs. Tight games, no matter who theyre against, are always good leading into October." Juan Uribe led off the eighth with a single against Daniel Hudson (0-1), making his second appearance since returning from two Tommy John surgeries in consecutive years. Roger Bernadina ran for Uribe and beat the throw to second from third baseman Aaron Hill, who was attempting an inning-ending double play on a grounder by pinch-hitter Justin Turner. All runners were safe on the fielders choice, and Gordon worked the count to 3-2 before lining his clutch hit to centre field. Hanley Ramirez then greeted Will Harris with a two-run double. Brian Wilson (2-3) got three outs for the victory and Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth. Hyun-Jin Ryu escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the Arizona second inning and carried a 2-0 lead into seventh with the help of Gonzalezs two-run homer in the first against Chase Anderson. But the Diamondbacks tied it with an RBI double by Cody Ross and a run-scoring single by pinch-hitter A.J. Pollock that chased the left-hander after 114 pitches. "It was the normal things that make him difficult," D-Backs cleanup hitter Mark Trumbo said. "He has exceptional control, throws any pitch anytime in the count and doesnt care if he gets behind. So you know youre in for a battle going into it, and thats what we got." The Diamondbacks, who fell a season-worst 21 games out of first place one day after general manager Kevin Towers was fired, opened the second with a double by Trumbo, a single by Aaron Hill and a walk to Ross. But Left fielder Carl Crawford made a sliding catch of Tuffy Gosewischs sinking liner for the second out as Trumbo held at third, and Ryu sstruck out Anderson. Hector Moreno Jersey. Gordon led off the Dodgers first with a double inside first base and Gonzalez drove his 20th homer into the right field pavilion one out later on the first pitch he saw from Anderson. Gonzalez, who leads all active players in homers and Runs batted in against the Diamondbacks, is six RBIs away from his seventh 20-homer, 100-RBI season in the majors. "Hes as consistent a hitter as there is in the game right now," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He knows how to hit to every situation there is, and he tailors his at-bats to every situation. He has a plan for every pitcher and every at-bat, and it shows. Thats why hes such a tremendous run producer." HARD HABIT TO BREAK With the score tied heading into the Dodgers eighth, the p.a. system blared the Bon Jovi hit "Living On A Prayer" -- while the in-house camera crew showed former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda sitting in the owners box next to a pair of nuns who were wearing blue habits. RUNNING INTO OUTS Both right fielders turned hit-and-run flyballs into inning-ending double plays in the first frame. Matt Kemp doubled up Ender Inciarte at first base after catching Chris Owings drive, and Cody Ross did likewise to Kemp after catching Crawfords ball. DEE-FENCE Gordon, who leads the majors with 58 stolen bases, was thrown out for the 17th time when he tried to run on Gosewisch in the third inning with Gonzalez at bat. Gosewisch is 6 for 16 in that department. TRAINERS ROOM Diamondbacks: 1B Paul Goldschmidt, whose season ended on Aug. 1 because of a broken left hand, batted .259 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 14 games against the Dodgers this season. Last year he hit .388 in 19 games vs. L.A. with six homers and 21 RBIs. Dodgers: CF Yasiel Puig did not play because of a stomach ailment, according to manager Don Mattingly, and was scheduled to get an IV. Josh Beckett was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Bernadina, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Albuquerque. UP NEXT Diamondbacks: Trevor Cahill (3-10, 5.06 ERA) is 0-3 in three starts against the Dodgers this season, allowing 17 earned runs in 11 1-3 innings. Dodgers: Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.72 ERA) is 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his last five starts against Arizona. A victory by the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner would give them three pitchers with at least 14 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1977-78, when they had four in both years. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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