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TORONTO – What a difference three and a half weeks makes. [url=https://www.shoesirela
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TORONTO – What a difference three and a half weeks makes. Shoes Ireland On Sale . At about this point last month the Maple Leafs were embarrassed, disillusioned, and broken after the second serious drubbing in a matter of days. “It can’t get worse than that can it?” Phil Kessel wondered a day after his team was pumped for nine goals at the ACC. Completely unforeseeable then, the Leafs have emerged almost unscathed from that point, now pushing Tampa, Detroit and Montreal for a share of the Atlantic Division lead. They won for the ninth time in 11 games Sunday night (9-1-1) – fifth straight – edging past the defending champs in a shootout on the second end of a back-to-back. “I think we’ve definitely come a long way,” Cody Franson said after the 4-3 win over L.A., the 13th for Toronto in 20 home games. “We’ve paid attention to the details that make us successful and we’re becoming more consistent with it.” They’ve won in all kinds of ways since that low-point, but the Leafs have mostly relied on the league’s hottest offence, solid special teams and, of late, very fine goaltending. It’s not always been pretty or consistent in the manner conducive to long-term success, but this group has managed to stack chips in an unforeseen way since they were booed off the ice in mid-November. On this night Toronto built up a two-goal lead, fell back in a middle frame owned by the Kings, lost control of the lead and then rebounded to win on the strength of a power-play goal and perfect shootout effort by James Reimer. They did this just one night after outplaying the equally hot Red Wings in a game that showcased the kind of structure they’ve strived to play with more consistently. “I think it shows we’re growing as a team,” said Stephane Robidas, credited with 12 hits against the Kings. “We always talk about playing the right way and we want to do it for 60 minutes. And obviously playing two games in two nights you’d need to play the right way, you just can’t show up.” L.A.’s size presented a whole whack of challenges for the Leafs and they dominated the possession battle as such. But the home side stuck with it even after Marian Gaborik pushed the Kings ahead early in the third frame, tying the score on a James van Riemsdyk power-play goal. What’s maybe most impressive about this stretch for the Leafs is how little they’ve really gotten from van Riemsdyk and some of their top players. Power-play theatrics aside, the Leafs top line of Kessel, van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak has done little in the past month. Not only is the trio not producing offence at even-strength, but they continue to spend shift after shift in the defensive zone. The line held less than 30 per cent possession on Sunday and has been under 40 per cent for the past three-plus weeks. Instead it’s those like Mike Santorelli, Daniel Winnik and Nazem Kadri who continue to make contributions in their place. That trio not only produced two of the three goals on this night, but held L.A.’s top line of Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown off the board entirely. “I think this is probably the best our team’s been playing,” said Kadri. “These aren’t easy games to come out and play, especially off back-to-backs.” The Leafs have beaten a slew of quality teams during this hot streak, topping the Lightning, Canucks, Wings (three times) and now the Kings. They’ve outscored the opposition 44-25 in that span, the goaltending picking up steam along the way. Reimer, who made 33 saves Sunday, and Jonathan Bernier have combined to post a .957 save percentage in the past five games. “We’d like to keep this ball rolling in our direction and not allow it to go in any other direction,” Carlyle said. Five Points 1. Top Line in Name Only Continuing one of the better all-around stretches of his NHL career, Kadri led Toronto forwards in ice-time Sunday, also out-pacing Bozak in that department for the seventh time in nine games while adding his 10th point in the past 10 games. He and linemates, Winnik and Santorelli, were the Leafs most productive at playing in the offensive zone, thereby forcing the Kings top trio, whom they were matched up with, to defend. “They’re able to play their game and they’re able to create chances and positive possession time and positive zone time,” Carlyle said. “So I think those are the three things that you look at. If you’re playing in the other team’s zone it’s pretty hard for them to score on you.” On the opposite end of that spectrum were Kessel, van Riemsdyk and Bozak. They were the Leafs worst at possessing the puck and have been for the past month. 2. Unsustainable Only Kessel has more points at even-strength among Leafs than Santorelli, who celebrated his 29th birthday with his sixth goal of the year and an assist. Santorelli has an unlikely 18 even-strength points and is on pace for 60 points overall, a mark that would smash the career-high 41 points he managed as a Florida Panther in 2010-11. It’s unlikely though that he continues to produce offence at such a potent rate. The B.C. native entered the game against the Kings with an on-ice shooting percentage (which measures team shooting percentage when a player is on the ice) approaching 13 per cent, an inflated level that’s higher than the career mark of Sidney Crosby. Kadri thrived with such luck during the lockout campaign. He posted 44 points in 48 games on the strength of a league-best on-ice shooting percentage of nearly 15 per cent. That number tumbled to a more reasonable level of nine per cent last year and a dip in production followed; Kadri posted a respectable 50 points, not close though to the near point-per-game mark of that fortunate season. Likely offensive cool-down aside, Santorelli has nonetheless been a valuable find at $1.5 million for the Leafs. He was recently added to both the penalty kill and power-play units. 3. More Santorelli Daniel Winnik offered this assessment on Santorelli. “I think probably the most unique part of his game is his cutbacks,” Winnik said. “I don’t think I’ve played with a guy with quicker turn-backs than him.” That’s an area of the game – quickly changing directions along the boards – Santorelli targets daily after practice and during the offseason. 4. 48 Hours Sunday’s affair against the Kings completed the Leafs seventh back-to-back set of 18 this season. They improved to 5-1-1 in the second game of those sets, an impressive mark. Robidas, on the road to 1,000 NHL games, says two games in 48 hours should be no big deal. “You’ve just got to go out there and play,” he said. “We’ve done it in the past. You play in the minors [and] you play three games in three nights. For me it’s not an excuse.” The early 5 p.m. start time required some adjustments to routines, though, including the always important pre-game nap. “You address your schedule accordingly,” said Winnik beforehand. “Just push everything back two hours pretty much.” 5. Mumps Sidney Crosby’s positive mumps diagnosis dragged the issue into the NHL’s forefront, even pushing Carlyle to get his shot Sunday. “They dragged me in,” he said with a chuckle. “I was the last one. I thought that I had it 58 years ago so I didn’t think I’d need another one, but I guess there’s a new strain out...” Players have been offered the shot and advised to take precaution where possible. Crosby was the 13th NHL player diagnosed with the mumps this season, Rangers centre, Derrick Brassard joining that list later in the day. Stats-Pack 20 – Points combined in the past 10 games for Nazem Kadri and Mike Santorelli. 12 – Hits credited to Stephane Robidas on Sunday. 7 – Number of times in the past nine games that Kadri has gained more ice-time than Tyler Bozak. 5-1-1 – Leafs record on the second game of back-to-back sets. 6-2-1 – Leafs record vs. the Western Conference. 13-0-0 – Leafs record when scoring first. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-3 Season: 20.7% PK: 2-2 Season: 83.6% Quote of the Night “Looking back at that that was definitely a time of a little bit of soul-searching. We knew that’s not going to be acceptable, especially on home ice. The way we lost that game was very disheartening, but we took it the right way and were able to learn from it and it turned out to be a good thing I guess.” - James van Riemsdyk, on the Leafs response to a 9-2 home loss last month. Up Next The Leafs host the Ducks on Tuesday night. Fake Shoes Ireland . 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. Discount Shoes Ireland .Michael Briscoe is serving a life sentence for sexual assault, kidnapping and first-degree murder in the death of 13-year-old Nina Courtepatte in 2005. https://www.shoesirelandsale.com/ . - The Raiders have released guard Mike Brisiel after two disappointing seasons in Oakland.FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - No bold statements. No wild guarantees.Just two serious football guys from New Jersey aiming to turn the New York Jets fortunes around.Coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan presented a united front as a new era took flight for the Jets on Wednesday during a packed and mostly low-key news conference that formally introduced the pair.Going forward, Bowles said with a big smile, its going to be a dream working with this guy.Maccagnan was hired last Tuesday to replace the fired John Idzik. Bowles was signed a day later to replace Rex Ryan.And unlike Ryans first brash, headline-making news conference with the Jets in 2009, the more understated Bowles offered no Super Bowl guarantees but rather modest goals focused on restoring a winning approach to a franchise that has missed the playoffs for four straight seasons.Were going to be a tough team, Bowles promised, an intelligent team. Were going to do things the right way. ... Were going to try to build a championship team here, and thats my only job.A few months into his tenure, Ryan declared that he didnt come to New York to kiss (Bill) Belichicks rings. Bowles was asked about those same rings, and managed to not provide the New England Patriots with any bulletin board material.Im going to work on getting my own rings, he said, joking. Theyre the cream of the crop of the division. Thats why theyre in the Super Bowl. Theyre somewhere that were striving to get to and thats what were going to work toward.The former Arizona Cardinals defensive co-ordinator also insisted that he will bring a new attitude to his players, a winning approach thats sorely needed after a 4-12 season.We have to teach them our culture, Bowles said. Not that the other culture was bad, but it didnt win.This is a homecoming of sorts for both Bowles, who grew up in Elizabeth, about 19 miles southeast of the facility and was the Jets secondary coach in 2000, and Maccagnan, whos from Hightstown, about 50 miles south of team headquarters. They both know the history of the franchise, from Broadway Joe making good on his Super Bowl guarantee in 1969 to the Jets failure to make the big game since.Both Bowles and Maccagnan used the word dream when they described their opportunity, and owner Woody Johnson declared that his two big hires were the perfect hires to get things turned around. Shoes Ireland From China. hese gentlemen, in my estimation, Johnson said, are the people.Maccagnan, Houstons former director of college scouting, said theres a good foundation in place on the Jets roster, and he typically would like to build through the draft but indicated the team is still formulating its off-season approach.All three men sat at a table in front of the teams auditorium — appropriately decked out in green ties — and preached the value of being on the same page. Johnson also made it clear that he likes the idea that Bowles will be focused on all three phases of the team — defence, offence and special teams — something that the defensive-minded Ryan was often criticized for not doing.Bowles, who spent the last two seasons running Arizonas defence, wont be calling the plays on defence; thatll be up to his still-unnamed co-ordinator, but hell have input. Same for the offence, which will be run by Chan Gailey, who was hired Tuesday after being a priority for Bowles because of his ability to get the most out of his players.Bowles appeared to loosen up as the news conference went along, cracking a few jokes along the way and showing off some of his personality. When asked to describe himself, Bowles had the room laughing.Theres a sarcastic side, he said, smiling. Theres a comedy side. Theres a serious side. Im sort of the male Sybil.Maccagnan was mostly soft-spoken and all business when he took questions. He reminisced about when he and Bowles met while they were with the Redskins in the late-1980s, back when Maccagnan was an intern in the front office, and Bowles was a safety. The two didnt get to know each other well then — but met again last week when Maccagnan picked up Bowles from the airport, and they quickly determined they were a good match as GM and coach.It was a very natural fit, Maccagnan said. It was just one of those situations that just felt right. I am very excited about going to war here with Todd here for the next few years.___AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
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