lw789
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. That was a great pitch, Mr. Presi

Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:16 am

TORONTO – Its been a black hole in Toronto since the second NHL lockout ended, save for one fleeting bright spot last season. Second-best in 2013, the Maple Leafs penalty kill has tumbled right back to the bottom of the NHL this season, second-worst in a league of 30 teams. Since the beginning of November, the unit boasts a very unflattering 73 per cent success rate, yielding 13 goals alone in the past 15 games. No team, in fact, has allowed more power play goals this season (43). "The biggest negative is were giving up too many goals," said head coach Randy Carlyle of the beleaguered penalty kill. "Thats an area we definitely have got to improve on to give ourselves a better chance [to win]. You cant and we do not believe that you can give up a power play goal to the opposition every game and have success." Success a year ago, in which they killed off an impressive 87.9 per cent in the lockout-shortened 48-game campaign, was a true rarity. In the seven seasons between the last two lockouts – from 05-06 to 11-12 – the Leafs never had a penalty kill finish higher than even 24th overall – sitting 24th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 30th, 28th, and 28th. And yet despite employing most of the same personnel as last season – with Jay McClement, Nik Kulemin, Carl Gunnarsson and Dion Phaneuf absorbing the bulk of minutes (new Leaf Tim Gleason proving an added resource) – the results, oddly, have not followed. In their most recent failing, the Leaf penalty kill allowed a pair of power play goals in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Jets – the eighth time theyve allowed two or more in a game in the past 40 outings. "If we string together a couple games with a good PK, confidence rises," Gunnarsson said. "If you have a couple bad games where they score 50 per cent on us, that confidence goes down." According to Extraskater.com, an advanced statistics website, the Leafs are allowing the most shots in the league on the penalty kill per 60 minutes (four-on-five situations), nearly 50 per cent more, in fact, than they did last season. The goaltending, while not quite at the superb level of a year ago – when they held the second-best save percentage in four-on-five situations – has remained just about average (12th best) despite the increased workload. One obvious drop-off from last season is the faceoff circle, specifically with Tyler Bozak, the teams primary faceoff employee. Bozak, who is used almost exclusively for the draw before darting off in favour of Kulemin, has won a scant 36 per cent of his shorthanded faceoffs this season (34-96), down from a stellar 53 per cent mark in 2013. McClement, a 50 per cent marksman last season, is down only slightly at 47 per cent. Losing more faceoffs, quite simply, means more time spent in-zone defending which results in fatigue, more shots against and thus, more goals for the opposition. "It seems like if we have six minutes [shorthanded] a night, were doing a good job for five and a half [of those minutes]," said McClement, "and then we dont get a puck down [the ice] and we have tired legs and its hard for us to kill the way were supposed to kill with tired legs." Though the group believes it has upped the requisite aggressiveness of last season in recent days, theyve often found themselves burned by a simple mistake, such as a failed read or clear. Against the Jets for instance, it was an inability to pick up a hot-charging Blake Wheeler on the first goal, a failure to intercept Tobias Enstroms point-pass to an unchecked Bryan Little in the slot on the second. "It feels like were doing some good things," McClement said. "Were pressuring better and pressuring smarter in the right situations, its just those little tiny breakdowns that are costing us goals." Countering the woes of the Toronto penalty kill has been an exceptional power play, one that ranks amongst the top five in the NHL this season. "Were aware of where our penalty kill is at and were aware that we have to be better on it," said Phaneuf. "We have let it slide and thats our job to get it back." Marquez Valdes-Scantling Packers Jersey . Or at least on everyone elses expectations. Costa Rica followed up its surprise win over Uruguay with another World Cup stunner on Friday, beating four-time champion Italy 1-0 to secure a spot in the next round and eliminate England in the process. Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey . -- Jonathan Diaz is easy to spot in the Blue Jays clubhouse. http://www.packersrookiestore.com/Packe ... -Jersey/.C. -- Only two Syracuse teams have won their first 20 games, and C. Oren Burks Jersey .com) - Maria Sharapova reached her 10th career grand slam final after beating Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets at the Australian Open on Thursday. Custom Green Bay Packers Jerseys . -- Miguel Angel Jimenez quickly shifted his focus back to the Ryder Cup after winning his first Champions Tour event.After defeating the Soviet Union, Team USA went on to win the gold medal in its final match against Finland.The 1992 United States mens Olympic basketball team, otherwise known as the "Dream Team," didnt have a specific moment of glory. The team destroyed opponents and won the gold medal against Croatia. The teams major claim to fame is being known as the greatest sports team ever assembled.Heres a look at how Team Canada did against the Dream Team:The team averaged 43.8 points per game, and defeated Team Canada by 44… so we fared typically against Michael Jordan and company. Perhaps Andrew Wiggins and the young crop of Canadian talent will challenge American basketball dominance in the coming years?The 1999 FIFA Womens World Cup was held in the United States, and featured the host country in the finals. China and the United States battled to a 0-0 draw in regulation time, and when nothing was solved in two overtime periods the game went to penalty kicks.Brandi Chastain had changed American soccer, won a World Cup for hher country, and created the most famous sports bra commercial of all time.ddddddddddddTeam Canada didnt advance in its group and therefore never played the American team.While Americans use The George Foreman Grill this weekend before sitting out at the picnic table, they can remember back when George Foreman won a gold medal in boxing at the 1968 Olympics and waved a miniature American flag after the big win.Sticking with people named George, President George W. Bush threw out the opening pitch before Game 3 of the World Series in 2001, as the nation was still reeling from the attacks of September 11th. Game 3 was the first game of the series held in New York City. That was a great pitch, Mr. President.Now lets sit back and enjoy Whitney Houstons rendition of the Star Spangled Banner before Super Bowl XXV.If a flyover of F-16 fighter jets doesnt get your juices flowing before a football game, then I dont know what will. Id also like to point out the Canadian flag at the 3:12 mark in the video.Happy Birthday, America! Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping NFL Jerseys Wholesale China NFL Gear Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Cheap NFL Hoodies Camo China NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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