30
December
2019

ding up to their next game against the M

TORONTO - Jonathan Bernier came back to try and help end a losing streak. Ted Hendricks Jersey . By the time the goaltender and the Toronto Maple Leafs left Air Canada Centre, they were out of a playoff spot. Bernier returned from a five-game absence and did his best to keep the Leafs in it against the St. Louis Blues. But a plethora of other mistakes against one of the NHLs top teams Tuesday night ultimately resulted in a 5-3 defeat, their sixth in a row. "Its a hard league," Blues goaltender Ryan Miller said of the Leafs struggles. "Youve got to keep it all together." Things have seemingly fallen apart in just under two weeks time. The loss, coupled with the Blue Jackets beating the Red Wings and the Capitals picking up a point against the Los Angeles Kings, dropped the Leafs out of a wild-card position. Though all four teams have 80 points, Columbus and Detroit held the wild-card spots at the end of the night, ahead of the Capitals and then the Leafs because of games played. Not long ago Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division, and now it looks like the season is slipping away. "Certainly were afraid of letting it slip away," said winger Joffrey Lupul, whose early goal was the first time Toronto opened the scoring in eight games. "The whole year weve thought we were a playoff team, and we still believe that now. ... Theres reason for concern, but its not completely time to panic. Were still right there." Winger James van Riemsdyk, whose goal at 15:54 of the third period cut the Leafs deficit to a goal, said that the team has "100 per cent" faith that things can turn around with just eight games remaining. "We have a lot of confidence in our abilities and a belief in ourselves and believe in the guys in the room," van Riemsdyk said. "This thing is obviously far from over." At some point the Leafs (36-30-8) must show that instead of just talking about it. They were unable to do that against the Blues, who passed the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the league thanks to a hat trick from David Backes and one goal apiece from T.J. Oshie and former Leafs forward Alex Steen. Though Bernier allowed four goals, his return from a groin injury was more memorable for some of the big saves he made among his 44. The 25-year-old No. 1 goalie gave his team a chance, but too much continued to go wrong in front of and around the net. Lupul said a good team is supposed to bail its goalie out and vice-versa. That didnt happen for James Reimer in the first five games of this slide, and that continued with Bernier. "When you get in a slide like this its easy to start pin-pointing individuals, which is fair, but as a group we look at it like, if theres a mistake made by someone, someone else steps up and makes a play for them," Lupul said. "And we just havent been doing quite enough of that right now." Captain Dion Phaneuf hesitated twice to clear the puck on a late-first-period penalty kill before the Blues forced a turnover and scored, then was beaten by Steen in front of the net on the fourth goal St. Louis scored. Phaneuf was not made available to speak to reporters, leaving coach Randy Carlyle to answer for some of the defencemans poor play. "He and (Cody) Franson have been the top pairing on our blue line, as far as the offensive side of it, all year," Carlyle said. "In tonights situation, he had a rough night." Phaneuf could be blamed for at least two goals against, but he wasnt alone in having a rough night against the Blues (49-16-7), who showed early and often why theyre a Stanley Cup contender. "It was a 5-3 game where I think we couldve scored 10 goals tonight," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said in a nod to Bernier. "We had so many scoring opportunities, and I thought for the most part until we got careless and started to get fancy around the net instead of burying it that we were really playing one of our top games." During the first period, St. Louis hemmed the Leafs in their own end, putting 23 shots on net, a season high for Toronto. "I dont know," Lupul said. "We couldnt break their cycle, we couldnt get the puck." Had the Leafs managed to go into the first intermission tied 1-1, as Carlyle pointed out, they would have been fortunate. But Phaneufs mistake led to a power-play goal by Backes with 32.3 seconds left. Backes had to beat Bernier, too, but he did that twice and added an empty netter for his second career hat trick. "Theres something about this barn and this stage," Backes said. "Theres obviously a special thing about being in Toronto. The buzz in the air and everyones talking about the Leafs. Every establishments got a neon Leafs sign of some sort. This is kind of the Mecca for hockey here in Toronto." Hockey Mecca includes many more people panicking even after the Leafs lost to a much better team in the Blues. Van Riemsdyk repeatedly pointed out that the Blues are "a heck of a hockey team." Theres no disputing that, only that the Leafs couldnt find a way to end their skid. Bernier knows nothing should have to be said after this one. "If were missing motivation, at this time of the year everyone should have some," he said. "Obviously we knew it was not going to be easy. Thats a good team out there — theyre first and they showed it tonight." The Leafs showed something in trimming a three-goal deficit to one in the third period. And while thats the biggest thing theyll take from Tuesday night, its not nearly enough with the frustration building up. "Youve got to try and manage that," van Riemsdyk said. "If you play in a frustrated type of way youre no good out there. Weve got to continue to learn from things and look at the positives and kind of go from there." One positive Lupul sees is two games ahead at the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night and then back home against the Red Wings on Saturday night. "You win those two games, all of a sudden things look a lot different," he said. Until the Leafs manage to do that, things look bleak. NOTES: With Bernier back, the Leafs sent goaltender Drew MacIntyre back to the AHLs Toronto Marlies. ... Defenceman Paul Ranger was scratched for the third straight game with a neck injury. B.J. Goodson Jersey . Peko, a fourth-round pick in 2006, started all 16 games and a playoff loss to San Diego last season. He was second on the line with 72 tackles and had a career-high three sacks. Custom Green Bay Packers Jerseys . SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. https://www.packersjerseysale.com/144j-antonio-freeman-jersey-packers.html . Curlings version of the Ryder Cup will introduce a new format beginning with the 2015 event, set for Jan. 8 to 11 in Calgary, as itll be Team Canada taking on Team Europe this season and in the 2017 event, while itll be Team Canada against Team World (including the U. CALGARY -- Henry Burris surpassed a major CFL milestone on Friday night, but couldnt find a way to lead his Hamilton Tiger-Cats to victory over the Calgary Stampeders. With a six-yard touchdown pass to Onrea Jones at the end of the first half, Burris became just the fifth quarterback in CFL history to pass for more than 50,000 career yards. "Were all about winning," said Burris, who completed 26-of-39 passes for 408 yards to go with two touchdowns and two interceptions. "Thats something that at the end of the day Ill look back and be thankful on, but right now it means nothing. Of course if we got a victory, we would have been thinking opposite about that." The Ticats (5-6) led 15-13 at the half and 22-16 after the third before the Stamps (9-2) rallied for 10 unanswered points in the final quarter to emerge with a 26-22 win in front of 26,649 fans at McMahon Stadium. "We had so many opportunities," Burris said. "We were definitely in control, but when you give a good team like Calgary enough opportunities theyre going to find a way to succeed. Thats on us. We have to be able to close games out to be able to beat the good teams in the league." After the game, Hamilton running back C.J. Gable said he was disappointed the Ticats couldnt do more to get the win for Burris to make it even more of a special occasion. "We wanted that bad for him," said Gable, who ran for 53 yards on nine carries and added 108 yards through the air on six catches. "For all that, we should have come away with the win. We thought we should have had the win." Hamilton actually had a great chance to extend their lead in the fourth quarter before linebacker Alvin Bowen picked off an errant Burris pass at the Calgary nine-yard line to end a lengthy drive by the Ticats. "We were in control there especially in the third going into the fourth,&qquot; Burris said. Stitched Packers Jerseys. "We cant get the ball down into the scoring zone there twice and not come away with any points. They got the turnover and werent able to put points on the board there. Ultimately thats what defeated us." Ticats coach Kent Austin credited the Stamps for capitalizing on Hamiltons mistakes and ultimately winning the game thanks to a 15-yard touchdown pass by Bo Levi Mitchell to Marquay McDaniel late in the fourth quarter. "Theyre a good football team," Austin said. "You give them an opportunity like that, theyre going to find a way to win football games. Thats why their record is where it is." Ultimately, Austin wasnt pleased with his offence, despite Burriss personal milestone. "I didnt think we showed up in the passing game," Austin said. "We had plenty of other plays we could have completed. Its not Henry. Im talking about just execution on offence period. We had plenty of opportunities." Austin said he hopes that his players learn from the setback leading up to their next game against the Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 21 in Moncton. "If we can take this as a learning process especially as it relates to mistakes, like penalties at inopportune times, like missed assignments, then weve got a chance," Austin said. "Well see how we respond. Its my job to get these guys up the curve from a maturity standpoint faster than we are right now." Despite the setback, Burris still has high expectations from the Ticats heading down the stretch run and leading up to the playoffs. "Weve got to get back to work and make sure were better," Burris said. "Weve got a special thing going here with this team. "We can win a Grey Cup with this team. Thats all Im focusing on. I could care less about myself. As long as we get victories thats all my focus is on." ' ' '



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