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tas Mitroglous 72nd-minute goal
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TORONTO – Just when it seems that it cant get much worse for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Authentic Darqueze Dennard Jersey ... Not good enough again, said Phil Kessel after the latest defeat. Another 18-wheeler is veering off the cliff in what seems to be slow motion for all of Toronto to witness. And theres no stopping it. The Maple Leafs losing streak hit eight games Thursday night in a manner that left many in the building and in the home dressing room shaking their heads in continued befuddlement. Its just like these situations where were finding ways not to win, said Peter Horachek after his teams 16th loss in 19 games, a 3-1 defeat to the equally reeling Coyotes. Weve got to find ways to win now. Just when it seems that it cant get much worse for the Leafs does Oliver Ekman-Larsson fire the most innocent of shots from his own blue-line, a knuckler that dipped and dived and eventually found its way underneath the glove of a stunned Jonathan Bernier. I didnt see it, Bernier said afterward of the shorthanded marker that ruptured his teams tentative 1-0 lead. It just dipped in front of me. Still rattled – jeers from the ACC crowd thrust his way – the 26-year-old yielded another bad one just a few minutes later. Martin Hanzal tucked that one in from just above the goal-line. It was enough to sink the fluttering Leafs, who cant seem to find a way not to beat themselves in some way or another. Just one night earlier in New Jersey did they surrender a game-tying goal with less than three minutes to go in regulation, only to lose again in the shootout. Bernier was enjoying a fine night up until the point of that fluttering goal, turning aside each and every one of the first 32 shots he faced in a 40-minute stretch that was increasingly controlled by the suddenly rebuilding Coyotes. His performance has certainly slipped in recent weeks – he entered the All-Star break with a .891 save percentage in a span of 10 starts – coinciding in ill-timed fashion with a flailing offence. The Leafs have mustered one goal or less now in seven of 10 games since Horachek took charge, totaling less than two goals per game since the middle of December. Its been an incredible stretch of futility for a team that all too recently led the league in scoring, one that punched back more than four goals per night during a mesmerizing 10-1-1 run. Kessel, who hadnt scored an even-strength goal in more than six weeks, was the lone Leaf to actually beat Mike Smith, who entered the night as perhaps the worst starting goaltender in the league this season. Were struggling, said Kessel afterward, as perplexed as anyone after another loss. Just when it seems the Leafs have lost in every manner possible during a run thats dashed another years worth of playoff hopes does something even stranger arise. Ive seen a lot of things now, Horachek said. Five Points 1. The Goal Bernier still appeared in some shock after the loss. His response to the back-breaking goal – yielding another to Hanzal a few minutes later – was certainly not what he desired. Its tough to stay in, said Bernier, especially when I thought I was playing pretty good and fans get on you. It gets frustrating, but Ive got to be stronger mentally and stay in it. Its going to happen, he added of the Ekman-Larsson goal. Its how you bounce back from it. The puck kind of went high and knuckled and dropped down, added Horachek, but you cant give yourself excuses, youve got to say thats his job and hes got to have that. 2. Kessel Breaks Spell Kessel hadnt scored at even-strength since Dec. 16, but came through with his 20th this season late in the first period. Reunited with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak, he curled into the high slot and beat Smith for the games first goal. Hopefully I can get going, he said afterward. Its frustrating right now. It was just Kessels third goal in 19 games. The Leafs struggles to score though go well beyond just one player: ? Tyler Bozak has gone eight straight without scoring and has just one goal in 15 games. ? Nazem Kadri has two goals in the past 10 games. ? James van Riemsdyk had two goals in nine games before scoring in back-to-back games. ? Mike Santorelli has gone 10 straight without a goal. ? Daniel Winnik has gone eight straight without a goal. ? David Booth has gone 18 straight without a goal. ? David Clarkson has just two markers in 24 games. ? Trevor Smith has gone nine straight without a goal. ? Richard Panik had gone 11 straight without a goal before being scratched against Arizona. The Leafs have fallen to 12th overall offensively, after rising to first at one point this season. 3. Quality Chances? After mustering just a goal against the Devils on Wednesday night, Horachek opted to check the tape to determine if his team was still getting the same number of scoring opportunities as before he took over. Are we getting the chances that we want? Are we getting the quality of chances that we want? And I think were getting that, he said. But we have to then push the envelope a little bit more. We have to spend more time in those areas, whatever you want to call it – the lions den, the house – and get more people in those areas. The Leafs entered Thursdays game scoring only 1.6 goals per game under his watch, unmistakably struck by a drastic swing in luck along the way. Torontos PDO (a measurement of luck) is the lowest in the league since the Randy Carlyle firing. If youre getting the same number of chances as we were when we were not playing as well defensively you would think that the message should be just finish your chances because were not getting less chances, were getting the same number of chances, Horachek added. Torontos goal-scoring issues began bubbling even before Horachek was hired though. In their final nine games under Carlyle the club scored just 2.1 goals per game, a good chunk coming on a since sunken power-play. 4. Power-play Adjustments Torontos coaching staff continued tweaking a struggling power-play Thursday, both in terms of personnel and strategy. Peter Holland got a look on the point of the first unit against the Coyotes – alongside Cody Franson – reclaiming a role he played both in junior with the Guelph Storm and during stints in the AHL. What the coaching staff identified strategically, meanwhile, was a need for more shots from the middle of the ice. Horachek and company believe theyve become too predictable on the power-play, too reliant on the Kessel left half-wall shot attempt. The approach was apparent on the Leafs first power-play opportunity versus Arizona, attempts from Holland and Franson in the middle of the ice creating a few quality chances on Smith. We have to change maybe the direction of how were attacking, Horachek said. Were getting the shots from Phils side or getting the shots from off the side on the half-wall but I think weve got to start now getting more shots down the middle. While resulting in more opportunity Torontos power-play ultimately did not score for the eighth time in 11 games. The Leafs have fallen to 14th on the power-play this season, going 0-3 versus the Coyotes. 5. Bernier Back-to-Back Bernier started back-to-back games for just the third time in his career Thursday night. He has yet to win under such circumstance. Bernier gave up three goals on eight shots and was pulled in his first bid (Mar. 5, 2014); yielded four goals on 28 shots in his second attempt (Mar. 29, 2014); and lost again Thursday despite an array of 42 saves. Stats-Pack 14 – Goals scored by the Leafs in 10 games under Peter Horachek. 7 – Consecutive seasons of at least 20 goals for Phil Kessel. 10:30 – Ice-time for Joffrey Lupul, who played for the first time since Dec. 31. 3-15-1 – Leafs record in the past 19 games. 2.82 – Goals per game for the Leafs this season. 4-37 – Toronto power-play in the past 11 games. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-3 Season: 18.8 per cent (14th) PK: 3-4 Season: 83.2 per cent (8th) Quote of the Night Both goals I think were bad goals; one from the goal-line, one from their blue-line. -Peter Horachek on the two goals Jonathan Bernier allowed Thursday night. Up Next The Leafs visit the Flyers on Saturday night. Wholesale Bengals Jerseys Authentic . Over the course of his career Glenn is 79-71-1 in 151 starts for a .526 career winning percentage. Since becoming a Stampeder, he has elevated his play and raised his stock around the league. Authentic Randy Bullock Jersey . 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell while figuring out which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. http://www.cheapbengalsjerseysauthentic.com/?tag=authentic-joe-mixon-jersey . Granlund scored 2:04 into the first period. Max Reinhart, on his first NHL shift of the season, neatly stripped the puck from Zack Smith at the Senators blue-line. As he moved in, his attempted shot deflected into the slot where Granlund buried a shot past Craig Anderson. Spain, Germany and Italy won Friday to move to the brink of qualifying for next years World Cup, while Cristiano Ronaldos first international hat trick kept Portugal on course for the tournament in Brazil. The Netherlands needed an injury time penalty kick from Robin van Persie for a 2-2 tie at 85th-ranked Estonia, and England moved atop its group with a 4-0 rout of Moldova as Danny Welbeck scored twice following Steven Gerrards first England goal in three years and Rickie Lamberts second in two games. Defending world champion Spain won 2-0 at Finland on goals by Jordi Alba and Alvaro Negredo, opening a three-point lead in Group I over France, which tied 0-0 at Georgia. The nine European group winners qualify for next Junes 32-nation field, and the top eight second-place teams advance to playoffs. In late games in North America and the Caribbean, the United States lost 3-1 at Costa Rica, Mexico was upset 2-1 by visiting Honduras and Panama was held to a 0-0 tie at home by last-place Jamaica. Only five teams are assured World Cup berths thus far: host Brazil and Asian qualifiers Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea. Germany and Italy would clinch first place in their groups with wins Tuesday. Germany beat Austria 3-0 as Miroslav Klose scored his 68th international goal, tying Gerd Muellers German record. Italy defeated Bulgaria 1-0 on Alberto Gilardinos 38th-minute goal. Ronaldo scored in the 68th, 77th and 83rd minutes as Portugal rallied for a 4-2 win at Northern Ireland. While he has 20 hat tricks for Real Madrid and one for Manchester United, he had never scored three goals in a match for his country. With 43 international goals, he moved two ahead of Eusebio on Portugals career and trails only Pauletas 47. Portugal, which has two games left, opened a two-point lead in Group F over Russia, which has three matches remaining. Belgium opened a five-point lead in Group A with a 2-0 win at Scotland as Steven Defour and Kevin Mirallas scored. Bosnia-Herzegovina lost 1-0 at home to Slovakia and leads Group G on goal difference over Greece, which won 1-0 at Liechtenstein on Costas Mitroglous 72nd-minute goal. Ukraine routed San Marino 9-0 and is one point behind England, which leads Grooup H on goal difference over Montenegro, which tied 1-1 at Poland. Authentic Andrew Billings Jersey. Crowd violence marred Romanias 3-0 win over Hungary in Group D. Five fans and two police officers were injured in pregame skirmishes. Serbia and Croatia drew 1-1 in a heated match between former Yugoslav territories, eliminating the Serbs from contention. In CONCACAF, Honduras won 2-1 at Mexico, sending El Tri to its second-ever home loss in qualifying and first since 2001 against Costa Rica. Oribe Peralta put El Tri ahead in the sixth minute at Mexico Citys Estadio Azteca, but Jerry Bengtson tied the score in the 66th after goalkeeper Jose Corona spilled Oscar Boniek Garcias shot, and Carlo Costly put the Catrachos ahead two minutes later off a long clearance. Costa Rica beat the visiting United States 3-1 on goals by Johnny Acosta, Celso Borges and Joel Campbell, avenging a March loss in a Colorado snow storm. Clint Dempsey converted a penalty kick in his 100th American appearance. Panama was held to a 0-0 tie by visiting Jamaica. The Ticos moved into first place with 14 points, one ahead of the U.S. with three games remaining. Honduras is third with 10 points, Mexico fourth with eight points and Panama is another point back after behind held to a 0-0 tie at home by last-place Jamaica. The top three nations qualify, and the fourth-place finisher goes to a playoff against New Zealand. In South America, Luis Suarez converted a 43rd-minute penalty kick and added a 67th-minute goal, lifting Uruguay to a 2-1 win at Peru, which got an 84th-minute goal from Jefferson Farfan. Colombia won 1-0 at home against Ecuador on James Rodriguezs 31st-minute goal; Paraguay routed visiting Bolivia 4-0 on goals by Jonathan Fabbro, Roque Santa Cruz, Richard Ortiz and Gustavo Gomez; Chile defeated Venezuela 3-0 on goals by Eduardo Vargas, Marcos Gonzalez and Arturo Vidal. Argentina and Colombia lead with 26 points each, while Chile has 24, Ecuador 21 and Uruguay 19. Venezuela trails with 16, two in front of Peru. The top four teams qualify. In the first leg of the Asian playoff, Uzbekistan tied 1-1 at Jordan. The second leg is Tuesday, and the winner advances to a playoff against South Americas fifth-place team. ' ' '
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