ball operations Dan Duquette

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ball operations Dan Duquette

Messaggioda lw789 » 24/01/2018, 3:26

TORONTO - When Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price looks at the Toronto Maple Leafs, he sees a big, physically strong team. "Theyre in your face," Price said. "Theyre a playoff team." The Leafs may be built for playoff hockey, but getting there could be a challenge down the stretch, especially after losing 4-3 to the Canadiens on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. Montreal moved five points up on Toronto in the Atlantic Division standings and in the process made it far less likely that this thrilling, back-and-forth affair could be a first-round playoff preview. "I think thats what everybody would want to see, and Im sure its going to happen sooner or later," said Habs forward Rene Bourque, who had a goal and an assist and was not yet born the last time these teams met in the playoffs back in 1979. As the Habs won for the fourth time in five games, the Leafs (36-28-8) dropped their fourth in a row as part of a troubling late-season swoon in the absence of injured goalie Jonathan Bernier. Toronto still occupies the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but leads Detroit by just one point and Columbus by two and has played two more games that the Red Wings and Blue Jackets. The Leafs could fall out of playoff position by the end of Sunday. James Reimer, who allowed four goals on 37 shots, including a short-side game-winner by Tomas Plekanec, said he and his teammates have a "healthy sense of urgency" with 10 games remaining. "I think we know we played well tonight and I think we made some mistakes but I think they made some mistakes too," Reimer said. "Really, it was kind of one bad bounce that decided the game. I think we can hold our heads high on this one and go into tomorrow (at the New Jersey Devils) feeling good about ourselves." The Habs are feeling good about themselves after winning a track meet of a hockey game that featured three goals in the first period — by Montreals Max Pacioretty, Bourque and captain Brian Gionta and Torontos Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak. Montreal coach Michel Therrien liked the way his team dictated the play early. But it was bouncing back in the third period after Nazem Kadri tied the score for the Leafs that impressed Price, who finished with 33 saves. "That was definitely a test of character," Price said. "When a team scores in the third period to tie it up when theyre at home, youre on the road, they grab a lot of momentum. ... Being able to grab the lead and then hold it with a good team effort like that is, I think, rewarding." The Habs reward if these winning ways keep up is either second or third place in the Atlantic Division, crucial spots that would mean avoiding Mondays opponent, the Boston Bruins, or the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. Now five points back of Montreal and six behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, who won in Toronto on Wednesday night, the Leafs will need an uphill climb to avoid a wild-card spot and a tough matchup. But now theres some legitimate concern, given recent woes, that a playoff spot altogether might be in danger. This loss, which winger Mason Raymond said "stings" and captain Dion Phanuef called "disappointing," didnt help that cause. "You have to turn the page," Phaneuf said. "Theres no looking back on today, tomorrow. Tomorrows a new day, weve got to pull ourselves out of it. Its this group thats going to get us out of this bind. Weve been close, but close isnt good enough right now. We know that were going to get out of it, weve just got to find a way." The Leafs and Habs (29-26-7) were close because this was such a back-and-forth game with plenty of chances at either end. The turning point came 9:14 into the third when Toronto winger James van Riemsdyk was called for goaltender interference when he steam-rolled Price. Habs defenceman Andrei Markov appeared to make contact with van Riemsdyk before he hit Price, but the goalie went to the ice and believed he was interfered with. "Its contact to my head, so I thought it was a penalty, personally," Price said. Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, who conceded he didnt see a replay of the incident, was more worried about the impact of the penalty. Plekanec scored just as van Riemsdyk was being released from the box at 11:14, sneaking a shot in the tiny space between Reimer and the right post. "We clawed back into the hockey game and then we take a penalty early in the third and they score," Carlyle said. "It was the difference in the hockey game, and the margin of error now in these games is so close that one bounce or one mis-play or one unfortunate mistake cost us points." Mistakes — be it turnovers by Phil Kessel, David Clarkson and Kadri or soft goals allowed by Reimer — hurt the Leafs dearly. Another slow start wasnt ideal, either. "Obviously we were behind the 8-ball a little bit early on giving up two goals," Raymond said of allowing two goals in the games first seven minutes. "I like the way we battled back, but turnovers killed us a bit and thats tough." The Habs benefited because they pounced on so many mistakes the Leafs committed. In front of an early-spring crowd of 19,789 thats hungry for playoff hockey, Montreal executed like a team ready for that next step. "Both teams need those points. We were ready to play," Therrien said. "At this time of the year, you need to be in a playoff mindset. And our mindsets like that." NOTES — Montreals streak of consecutive penalties killed was snapped at 25 on Kadris power-play goal at 2:49 of the third. The last time the Habs surrendered a goal on the power play was March 6 at the Phoenix Coyotes. ... Leafs centre Dave Bolland played just 9 minutes 1 second in his return to the lineup. Bolland missed the previous 56 games after suffering a severed tendon in the back of his ankle Nov. 2. ... Habs forward Lars Eller suffered a lower-body injury, Therrien said, and did not play in the third period. Michael Bournival was called up, and he will meet the team in Boston. .... Bernier, who has now missed four straight games with a groin injury, will miss his fifth in a row Sunday when the Leafs visit the Devils. Carlyle said the 25-year-old will not make the trip. Jonas Jerebko Jersey . But back-up Peter Budaj has put up two wins and an overtime loss while starting three games in four nights since Price went down with a suspected groin injury. Joe Johnson Jersey . While plenty of statistics illustrate Torontos turnaround in the second year of manager Ryan Nelsens tenure, stopping goals is not one of them. http://www.officialjazzproauthentic.com ... zz-Jersey/. -- At the beginning of training camp, Andrew Bogut set a goal to play all 82 regular-season games and regain his place among the NBAs best centres. Derrick Favors Jersey . 1 and reigning champion Caroline Wozniacki was among Thursdays third-round winners, while second- seeded Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the draw at the $4. John Stockton Jersey .com) - Colorado forward P.SARASOTA, Fla. -- Ubaldo Jimenez waited until spring training began before signing a four-year, $50 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles. It wasnt a comfortable feeling. "It is very difficult to wait. I know Im not the only one who had headaches," Jimenez said. Because signing Jimenez cost the Orioles their first round draft pick, it was a hard decision for executive vice-president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. "We made that conscious choice to put those resources into our current team on the starting pitching staff and thats what we felt we had to do to stabilize our team and be competitive in the AL East," Duquette said. Baltimore was a surprise playoff team in 2012, won 85 games in 2013 and didnt make a big free agent acquisition until this week when they added South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon and the right-handed Jimenez. "It took a lot of patience by the fans and a lot of patience by us to add veteran starting pitchers, but this is a robust market for the veteran starting pitchers. Every starting pitcher that we were in onn, there were four or five other clubs also in on that pitcher actively trying to sign him with good offers," Duquette said.dddddddddddd. The Orioles have a likely starting rotation of Jimenez, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris. Jimenez, who won 19 games in 2010 for Colorado, and 13 with Cleveland last season, including four straight in September, can help the teams rotation immensely. "Ubaldos going to make the pitching staff. Hes got a good shot at it," manager Buck Showalter said. "Hes worth waiting on." Jimenez has never pitched in the American League East, and unlike some of the other higher profile free agent pitchers, looks forward to working in a tough division. Jimenez will attempt to justify Baltimores investment. "Thats definitely is a lot of money. Im just going to go out there and show everything I have. Im not going to be trying to do too much because then its going to mess everything up. I have to be who I am. I cant be thinking about doing too much," Jimenez said. 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