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ldh2013 Feb 19 '16
TORONTO – Joffrey Lupul wanted to apologize to the fans that paid good money to see what was dubbed an embarrassment by those in the Toronto dressing room. Mehdi Benatia Bayern Munich Jersey . "Were getting booed off the ice in the first period, second period and the end of the game," said Lupul. "And we deserved it." He and the Maple Leafs were hammered 7-1 by the New York Rangers on home ice, their three-game win streak and six-game point streak ending with a loud thud on Saturday evening. "Sometimes you have losses where you take some positives," Lupul said. "Tonight we did nothing well. Theres nothing we can take out of this other than just not wanting to have this feeling in here again." It was an all too familiar reminder of the inconsistency and unpredictability that has plagued the Leafs all season. All that seemed to be trending in mildly positive directions in the past week and a half was blown up in yet another embarrassing loss for the club at the ACC. "We felt that we were becoming more competitive in the [required] areas and this one sent an A-bomb [through that]," said a despondent Randy Carlyle afterward. With plenty more determination and good bursts of speed on the second end of a back-to-back – they were thumped by Pittsburgh on Friday – New York pounded 50 shots at the helpless Toronto pair of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, the former pulled for the first time all season. Carlyle was taken aback by the hapless effort, most disappointed by the lack of pushback at any point in a flat night. "We didnt check," he said. "They had the freedom to roam about the ice and do what they wanted to do. We didnt engage in the competitiveness side of it of limiting their space, stepping in front of anybody, skating in front of anybody to impede the progress. Obviously we left our goalies hanging high and dry." Unpredictability has been an unfortunate staple of the Leafs identity at the midway point of the season. Theyve shown the ability to look so thorough, determined and capable one night only to emerge as something much different the next. Coming off a triumphant result at Wednesdays Winter Classic and their first three-game win streak since the end of October, Carlyle mused that "we just need a performance to support that now", the uncertainty of what might lay ahead evident in his voice. "Now its back to the drawing board," he said. "Were not proud of that game," Lupul concluded of the defeat. "Its embarrassing. [We] apologize to the people who paid money to see us play like that." Five Points 1. Berniers Roll Ends Just when it appeared that Jonathan Bernier might be wrangling full control of the Maple Leafs crease did the 25-year-old suffer his worst fate this season – through little fault of his own. Bernier, who was making his fifth consecutive start in goal – the longest stretch for any Leaf goaltender this season and longest of the Quebec natives career – was pulled for the first time all year, yielding five goals on 32 shots. Only the second marker, a sneaky shot from the right circle by Dominic Moore that snuck five-hole could be pinned on the goaltender. "Obviously the second goal shouldnt go in the net and hed be the first guy to tell you that," Carlyle said of Bernier. "But we gave up three breakaways in the second period where our defenceman got beat and they went clearly uncontested to the net." One such example saw Chris Kreider blow by Cody Franson before beating Bernier with a backhand for the Rangers fourth goal. Another, the fifth for New York, saw Moore burst by Jake Gardiner from deep in the Toronto zone. Hours before the game, Carlyle, who has been firm in his stance on the two-goalie tandem, conceded to thoughts of declaring Bernier Torontos no. 1. "There are times when you look it and say, Is this the time? Well, Im not ready quite yet to say that hes this or hes that," offered Carlyle on Saturday morning. "I know were going to need both of our goaltenders to play to the top of their ability and I dont think were any different than any other team in the league." Bernier owned a .950 save percentage in his previous six games and had picked up at least a point for his team in five straight. He was replaced by James Reimer, who made his first appearance since Dec. 21 and allowed two goals on 18 shots. 2. Bad Losses The Leafs have been on the receiving end of a handful of bad losses like the one that took place on Saturday. Among them was a 4-0 defeat to Vancouver on Nov. 1, a 6-0 home loss to Columbus on Nov. 25, a 6-3 putdown in St. Louis on Dec. 12 and a flat 3-1 loss to the Panthers on Dec. 12. The seven goals against was the most the club has allowed in a single game all season. "It was just a bad game for us all around," said Dion Phaneuf afterward. "The whole night we seemed to be out of sync." Toronto has just four regulation victories in the past 29 games with the Rangers, Capitals, Flyers, Senators and Hurricanes trailing close behind their 47 points (good for fifth in the Atlantic division) on the season. "We werent good enough in any aspect," said Lupul. "We werent moving the puck out of our zone. We were getting beat off the rush, one-on-one, and offensively we werent really creating anything. We can all share the blame equally in this one." "We got outworked to put it mildly," added Cody Franson. 3. Second Line Silence The silence of the Leafs second line has been a source of frustration in recent weeks. "I just think that the group, the sum of the group should equal more than what Im getting right now," Carlyle said before Wednesdays Winter Classic. The trio, which includes Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond, remained quiet for the meaningful portion of Saturdays action against the Rangers (and was later broken up in the third frame). Kadri has just four points in the past 14 games, Raymond has only one goal in the past 15, and Lupul, with his 12th this season against New York, hit the scoresheet for just the third time in the past 12 games. "Were not getting much done offensively right now," Lupul said before the game. "Its frustrating for us. We need to control the puck a little bit better in their zone and create some chances that way. Its been a frustrating stretch for us, but were certainly going to work on things and get better for sure." 4. Stable on Defence Acquired from the Hurricanes earlier this week, 30-year-old Tim Gleason did not make his Leafs debut against the Rangers. That was due in part to the recent performance of Paul Ranger, who played in his fifth consecutive game Saturday following a stream of stints in the press box. "The one thing with Paul Ranger and a lot of our defencemen is that when you dont notice them its because of the good reasons," said Carlyle, who challenged the 29-year-old Ranger to increase his physicality defensively in recent weeks. "The good reasons are theyre playing safe, theyre making good plays, [and] theyre [making] strong plays. Where we tend to focus on [them], and were all guilty of it, is when they make mistakes. And everybody out there does make them. We want to focus on the positives and these guys have started to give us more of what weve asked and were going to continue to push for more." The recent uptick for the Whitby native failed to continue against the Rangers. He was among the many struggling Leafs on Saturday, on the ice for four goals against (three at even-strength) in the defeat to New York. As for Gleason, who played eight seasons in Carolina, Carlyle added that hed like to give the long-time Hurricane defender an opportunity to get accustomed to a new environment in Toronto. "I think wed just like to get him acclimated to our style of play, the way we do things, our systems, everything before we put him in the lineup," said Carlyle. "And he will get a chance. We all know at the NHL level theres a very tough schedule. I think our next stretch of (nine) days we play six games. So we know theres lots of hockey coming and therell be lots of opportunity for people to get in the lineup." That opportunity may come sooner than later. Carl Gunnarsson left Saturdays game in the first period with an undisclosed upper-body injury, seemingly suffered on a hit from Carl Hagelin. David Clarkson meanwhile, blocked a Michael Del Zotto shot with his left foot in the opening frame. He returned briefly for one shift of 21 seconds in the middle period only to shut it down thereafter. The Leafs offered little in the way of an update on either player following the game. 5. Fleeting Signs of Optimism Prior to the hapless effort, Carlyle touched on a few aspects of his teams game that had improved amid a season-long six-game point streak. "I think were getting back to playing with the puck more," he said. "I think at times weve been guilty of receiving the game and putting too much pressure on our goaltenders. Weve talked about it. Its an easy stat to record when youre getting outshot." Saturday marked the 35th time in 43 games that the Leafs have been outshot this season; now sitting 17-13-5 in those games. It was also the 13th time already that theyve allowed at least 40 shots in a game and the fourth time in the past five games. Stats-Pack 13 – Number of times this season the Leafs have allowed at least 40 shots. 7 – Goals for the Rangers on Saturday, the most for any Leaf opponent this season. 5 – Consecutive starts for Jonathan Bernier, the longest stretch for either Toronto goaltender this season. 4 – Number of times this season the Leafs have allowed 50 shots. 4 – Victories in regulation for the Leafs in the past 29 games. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-1Season: 21.8% (5th) PK: 2-3Season: 77.8% (27th) Quote of the Night "Its embarrassing. Were getting booed off the ice in the first period, second period and the end of the game. And we deserved it. We were not good in any aspect. We dont feel very good about ourselves right now." -Joffrey Lupul, following Saturdays 7-1 defeat. Up Next The Leafs host John Tavares and the Islanders at the ACC on Tuesday night. Georginio Wijnaldum Jersey . Five players had a multi-point performance and goaltender Ben Scrivens made 34 saves as Edmonton avoided a seventh straight loss by defeating the visiting Nashville Predators 5-1. Juan Agudelo USA Jersey . -- After two days of watching players leave, the Seattle Seahawks finally made an addition, agreeing with former Jacksonville wide receiver Taylor Price on a one-year deal. LONDON -- Samuel Etoo and Gary Cahill scored first half goals as Chelsea turned in a dominant performance to beat Galatasaray 2-0 on Tuesday and reach the Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory on aggregate. Galatasarays former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba made no impact on his return to Stamford Bridge, being reduced to a minor role like the rest of his teammates in the second leg match of the last 16. Playing his first game at Chelsea since his last kick for the Blues won a penalty shootout with Bayern Munich in the final two years ago, Drogba received a warm welcome from the home fans. But Etoo quickly stole the spotlight, opening the scoring from a tight angle in the fourth minute. Cahill doubled the lead from close range in the 42nd. In the nights other match, Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid beat Schalke 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu to reach the quarterfinals with a 9-2 rout on aggregate. Drogba looked a shadow of his former self and did not have a single clear-cut chance. But both his manager Roberto Mancini and his former coach Jose Mourinho jumped to his defence. "It was not his fault, it was very difficult for him because we did not play tonight," Mancini said. Mourinho said his former protege was not helped by his teammates after they failed to produce attacking football. "We were very solid and very confident, we controlled the game," Mourinho said. "If youre a striker and your team doesnt attack, you feel a lonely man." All eyes were on Drogba as he entered the pitch to start his warm-up at a nearly empty stadium. The Ivory Coast forward did not change his usual routine, touching the grass and crossing himself before joining his teammates. After being lured from Marseille by Mourinho, Drogba scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for the London club between 2004-12 and was voted the greatest player in the clubs history. As teams entered the pitch before kickoff, Drogba pointed a finger towards the Chelsea kop where a banner reading "Drogba Legend" had been unfurled. He then ran to the touchline to give a handshake and a kiss to Mourinho. Though the spotlight was on Drogba, Etoo soon gave Chelsea a perfect start to the game. Eden Hazard linked up well with Oscar to release the ball for the Cameroon striker, who fired past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Wesley Sneijder strugggled to build any attacks from midfield for the visitors, while Etoo created further danger from the right flank before his attempted cut-back was blocked by defenders. Clint Dempsey USA Jersey. Drogba then tried his luck from the edge of the box but his acrobatic volley ended well over the bar in a moment that summed up his return to his former club. Toying with defenders with his usual frenzied pace and dribbles, Hazard produced another stellar performance for Chelsea. The Belgium playmaker was behind nearly all his sides attacks and his relentless efforts made it a tiring night for the Galatasaray defence. Hazard and Oscar exchanged a series of one-twos in the 22nd minute before the Belgium international crossed for Lampard, who missed his attempt and sent the ball over. Hazard took a shot from distance two minutes later but his effort was stopped by Muslera. Chelsea went closer in the 33rd minute when captain John Terrys superb left-footed volley from Lampards free kick flew over the bar with Muslera looking beaten. Another fast move between Hazard and Oscar almost paid off but Alex Telles return pass prevented Willian from doubling the lead. Chelseas tenacity was finally rewarded before the interval when Cahill scored from the rebound with a powerful finish after Muslera had parried away Terrys header from a corner. Hazard continued to torment Galatasarays defence in the second half. In the 49th, he went on a diagonal run across the pitch and evaded Semih Kaya before releasing the ball for Etoo -- but Oscars shot from the strikers cross was blocked by Melo. Though Galatasaray pushed forward in search of a goal, Chelsea comfortably kept the visitors at bay while being dangerous on the break until the final whistle. Drogba left the pitch to a standing ovation as Chelsea fans chanted his name. Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard was delighted with sides performance in west London. "It was everything we wanted it to be. We knew it was going to be a tough game and they hardly threatened," Lampard said. "It was a very controlled, very professional performance from all of us," said After Manchester City and Arsenal exited the competition last week, Manchester United will try to join Chelsea in the last eight when it hosts Olympiakos on Wednesday. However, David Moyes team needs to overhaul a 2-0 loss in the first leg to advance. wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap soccer jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys china ' ' ' 

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