#1 , Patterson is shooting the three-ball at an impressive 43 per cent clip von wh3171 22.10.2019 05:43

TORONTO – Doing just enough to lose hockey games, the Maple Leafs playoff chances are dangling on an ever-thinning thread. Ivica Zubac Jersey . They matched their second-longest losing skid of the year on Saturday evening, making an error too many in their fourth straight loss, a stinging 4-3 defeat to Montreal at the ACC. Falling further back of the Canadiens – now a five-point gap – and the surging Lightning for the final two spots in the Atlantic division, Toronto is hanging onto to the first wild card position in the East, in danger of falling out altogether if change doesnt come soon enough. “Weve been close, but close isnt good enough right now,” said Dion Phaneuf of four straight losses, all against fellow Eastern contenders vying for a spot in the post-season. Like in narrow losses to Washington, Detroit and Tampa previously, the Leafs shot themselves in the foot just a time or too many on this night, dropping the season series to Montreal in the process. “The margin of error now in these games is so, so, so close that one bounce or one misplay or one unfortunate mistake cost us points,” said head coach Randy Carlyle afterward. A stumbling start and more ineffective goaltending certainly didnt help matters, but it was simple errors in execution that ultimately set the stage for another defeat. Most notable among them were mistakes from two of the teams best players. There was an early and careless neutral zone turnover from Phil Kessel that fed the Canadiens first goal and a later failure from Dion Phaneuf to clear the puck that found the back of the net on Tomas Plekanecs eventual game-winner. “We worked hard,” said Carlyle, his team rallying from a pair of deficits. “[But] we have to work equally as hard and clean up some of the mistakes that we make. Turn the puck over in the neutral ice and it comes back to haunt you. Make a mistake on a turnover penalty killing and it comes back and haunts you. Those are difference-makers in the games and thats what happens when the intensity ramps up in all these games.” Running wild with points in the weeks before and after the Olympic break, Toronto had not lost four straight since the early days of January. They vaulted to 11 wins in 14 games after that stinging streak, requiring a similar resurgence now to keep hold of a second straight playoff berth. The sky may be falling in certain pockets of the city with memories of the infamous 18-wheeler still fresh, but in reality the Leafs situation is not dire to the point that they cant right themselves with 10 games to play. Theyve lost a series of close games of late, doing just enough to lose on each given night. Losses count the same though and that tide – now trending in the negative with clubs in Detroit, Washington and Columbus hunting them down – has to start shifting for the better in a hurry with the Devils up next on Sunday night. “Were still in a good spot,” said Phaneuf, ever optimistic afterward. “Obviously weve slid a little bit because of not winning games, but were still right there.” Five Points 1. Stunted Starts Toronto allowed the first goal for the sixth consecutive game and 37th time this season, actually falling behind by two for the fourth time in those six games. And while they managed to erase that deficit in short order, the trend of digging early holes is a definite negative at this point in the year and any point for that matter. “Its tough coming back,” said James Reimer of the constant need for rallies. “Weve proven that we can do it. Weve got enough character and desire in here to fight back in games, but it obviously makes it a lot tougher on ourselves.” Capitalizing on Kessels giveaway on the opener from Max Pacioretty, Montreal jumped ahead by two on a Rene Bourque breakaway, the Canadiens winger storming by the pair of Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner before beating Reimer with a weak shot glove-side. “I think maybe we just all need to be a little sharper when it starts and obviously me included,” said Reimer. The Leafs dropped to 11-22-4 when yielding the first goal this season. 2. Just Okay Reimers inability to fill the hole left by Jonathan Bernier continued Saturday with the 26-year-old yielding four goals on 36 shots. He owns a .899 save percentage during six appearances in place of the teams injured No. 1. Though he made some fine stops in allowing his team to rally from the early 2-0 hole – including a glove stop just moments before Joffrey Lupul scored the Leafs first goal – Reimer ultimately could not deliver enough of the timely big saves required for victory. This was evident on Plekanecs game-winner. Reimer slid right to left on Andrei Markovs cross-ice feed to Plekanec, but could not keep the shot – from just above the goal-line – from finding a slight hole. “I feel like its a tough bounce,” he said. “Obviously they made a good play to put it through the seam, but I thought I gave myself a chance to get over there, but it just found a way through.” Reimer remains winless on home ice since Jan. 15, last winning a start on Jan. 21. Bernier meanwhile continues to inch back from a groin injury, but not quickly enough for the teams recent fortunes. The 25-year-old skated for a third straight day Saturday morning, but will miss his fifth straight game Sunday against the Devils. “He still has some issues as far as hes not 100 per cent,” said Carlyle, “so until hes 100 per cent hes not available to us.” 3. Slow Ride A slogging rehabilitation of nearly five months finally came to an end Saturday for Dave Bolland, who returned to the Toronto lineup against Montreal. It was the first game for the 27-year-old since Nov. 2, when a tendon on the outside of his left ankle was sliced by the skate blade of Canucks forward Zack Kassian. He missed 56 games. “Hes progressed along over the last three weeks to a point where he feels and the doctors feel medically thats he close to a 100 per cent ready,” said Carlyle, wary of driving up expectations for Bolland, a favourite of his upon landing with the Leafs last summer. “I dont want to put too much emphasis on him specifically because when a player hasnt played in 60 games its a lot to ask of him to come back in and be where he wouldve been coming out of training camp and playing with our hockey club early in the season.” Bollands addition gave Carlyle his first full group of forwards at any point this season with neither injuries nor suspensions on the docket. All of which allowed him to comfortably employ four lines in the fashion he may have imagined at the start of the year. Indicative of a balanced attack and a considerable shift from recent weeks and much of the year, Colton Orr was the lone forward to play fewer than eight minutes against Montreal. “It gives you a little bit more depth throughout your lineup, a veteran guy, and it kind of slots people more into where we envisioned them at the beginning of the year,” said Carlyle, who reunited Bolland with Mason Raymond and David Clarkson. Bolland, whom the Leafs made room for by sending Carter Ashton and Peter Holland to the Marlies, was lost to injury in early November just a week after Tyler Bozak went out with a hamstring issue, drastically affecting the teams depth at centre ice. He played nine minutes against the Canadiens, keeping his shift lengths short at just 33 seconds. “That first shift was probably the hardest,” Bolland said. “Its getting the timing and figuring things out out there. You sort of got to get used to it. I think the heartbeat was hurting a little bit too.” 4. Secondary Offence Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri had combined for four goals in the previous 14 games, but landed a pair against the Canadiens. Lupul fired a rocket by Carey Price for the Leafs first goal midway through the first, Kadri depositing a feed from his 30-year-old teammate on a power play goal later which evened the score at three. With Phil Kessel and the teams top line cooling some in recent days – they did account for the second Toronto goal with Tyler Bozak notching his 16th – contributions from the likes of Lupul and Kadri will be required in the final weeks of the regular season. Toronto forwards had only seven goals in the previous six games, but accounted for all three on Saturday. 5. Ranger on the Mend Paul Ranger was in predictable shock in the immediate aftermath, but realized hed be okay when he was able to move his legs, hands and feet. Reversing to his left with less than five seconds remaining in the first period of a Wednesday tilt with Tampa, the 29-year-old was drilled from behind by Lightning forward Alex Killorn. He was helped off the ice on a stretcher, his teammates looking on with concern. “I remember just feeling pain,” said Ranger, suffering a neck injury on the play. “I know that my body and my mind just went into preservation mode. All I could think was just dont move, stay straight and breathe. I just kind of breathed three in, three out for the next 3-4 hours.” Ranger was taken to a local hospital that night, assessed and discharged. He remained off the ice for a third straight day Saturday and did not play against the Canadiens, his impending return to the line-up uncertain. Though he received word from Killorn in the aftermath of the collision, believing that no harm was intended, the Whitby, Ontario native nonetheless hopes that hits from behind receive more attention and study for improvement. “I think its something that happens a lot in our game and its dangerous,” he said. “Im thankful Im really strong physically and really fit and I think that really helped and probably saved me a little bit in this situation. I wouldnt want anyone else to go through that period, but especially someone whos maybe not as strong or not as heavy you could say.” Stats-Pack 212 – Man games lost to injury for the Leafs this season, including 56 from Dave Bolland, who returned from an ankle injury against Montreal. 2-2-1 – Leafs record versus the Canadiens this season. 9:01 – Ice-time for Dave Bolland in his first game since Nov. 2. .899 – Save percentage for James Reimer since Jonathan Bernier went out with injury. 5 – Number of 20-goal seasons for Joffrey Lupul, who scored his 20th of the year against Montreal. 8:54 – Ice-time for David Clarkson on Saturday, his lowest of the season. 11-22-4 – Leafs record this season when they allow the first goal. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-2 Season: 20.7% (T-4th) PK: 2-2 Season: 78.5% (28th) Quote of the Night “Weve been close, but close isnt good enough right now.” - Dion Phaneuf, following the Leafs fourth straight loss. Up Next The Leafs visit the Devils in a Sunday night affair at the Prudential Center. Terance Mann Clippers Jersey . Canada will host Japan in a World Group first-round match in 2015. It will be a rematch of their first-round clash last year when Japan defeated Canada 4-1 to reach the World Group quarter-finals for the first time in its history. Mfiondu Kabengele Jersey . Sources tell TSN that union executives travelled to select CFL cities Monday to open dialogue with players and answer questions. After the tentative deal was reached Saturday night, several players posted messages of frustration and disappointment on social media - and that carried over into Sunday on both the web and the field. https://www.clipperslockerroom.com/Amir-Coffey-City-Edition-Jersey/ . Still, Encarnacion felt a sense of relief. He felt a pop just before crumpling to the ground after running out a groundball in the first inning of Saturdays game. It could have been worse. “Its going to take maybe two weeks,” said Encarnacion. “It depends how Im going to be and how Im going to be day after day, feeling better or not.TORONTO - As Patrick Patterson was getting reacquainted behind the three-point line two years into his NBA career he hoped to, eventually, emulate one of the leagues most clutch shooters at his position. I always wanted to be like Robert Horry, said Patterson, who was one of the last players in the gym, getting up shots after practice on Thursday afternoon. A guy who came through in the clutch for whatever team he was with - Houston, L.A., the Spurs. Just a guy who was always hitting clutch and key shots. Thats what I wanted to be, he told TSN.ca. They called him Big Shot Bob, so I wanted to be Big Shot Pat. Granted, it doesnt have the same ring to it, but the Raptors reserve forward has grown into one of the leagues premier players at a hybrid position that Horry himself helped pioneer - the stretch four. It was a path that he forged just a few years ago, not necessarily one he was destined for as a young player, urged to take advantage of his height. At 6-foot-9, Patterson aimed to please early in his career. He was a chameleon, a product of the system he found himself in, a jack of all trades but master of none. Playing for Billy Gillispie in his first two years at Kentucky, Patterson was asked to man the paint, a task he embraced, shooting nearly 60 per cent from the field but attempting only four threes for the Wildcats. The next season, his final year in college, John Calipari was the first coach to introduce him to the perimeter. He wanted me to shoot it, Patterson recalled, hoisting 69 three-balls that year, despite shooting a modest percentage. He wanted me to be aggressive with it. Graduating after his Junior season, Patterson was drafted 14th overall by the Houston Rockets. The Raptors, selecting one pick earlier, strongly considered the Washington, D.C. native but opted for Ed Davis, a stronger rebounder, instead. Pattersons skills in the low post did not set him apart and he had just begun to refine his game on the perimeter. Where did he fit? His first two seasons in the NBA were a mixed bag. He played for Rick Adelman in the Rockets elbow offence, which, again, restricted his opportunities to step out and shoot the three - he attempted just five. Led by general manager Daryl Morey, a proponent of analytics, the Rockets changed their philosophy to emphasize the value of three-point shooting more than ever before. Kevin McHale took over as head coach, James Harden was brought in, and Patterson was asked, again, to alter his game. McHale wanted him out on the perimeter, so he spent the summer of 2012 getting reacquainted with a shot he had left behind in college, where the three-point arc is three-feet closer. My touch for the three-pointer pretty much just disappeared, Patterson admitted. I just had to work on it, work on it every single day in practice, after practice, days off and focus a lot on it during the summertime and the offseason. I think with the encouragement from the coaching staff and my fellow players it just made me want to keep working on it more and more and just keep improving and be that stretch four that everyone thought I could be. Between Houston and Sacramento - where he would be traded midseason - Patterson hit 39 per cent of his 132 attempts from beyond the arc that year. After struggling with the Kings to begin last season, the 25-year-old found new life playing alongside KKyle Lowry, a former teammate, in Dwane Caseys offence with the Raptors. Custom Los Angeles Clippers Jerseys. He has thrived as a long-distance shooter ever since. In 70 games with Toronto, Patterson is shooting the three-ball at an impressive 43 per cent clip. Only two players - Jason Kapono and Mike James - have a higher career mark as a member of the Raptors. This season, hes been remarkably efficient. Of the 40 NBA players 6-foot-8 or taller that have launched 50 or more three-pointers, Patterson and Miamis Shawne Williams are shooting the highest percentage (.452). Overall, amongst players at any position, that pair ranks seventh in the league (minimum 50 attempts). A gym rat by nature, Patterson credits repetition and his consistent, day-to-day routine, which hasnt changed since he integrated the long-ball into his game over two years ago. I have the same focus I had when I was missing shots, said Patterson, who is 13-for-22 from three-point range in December. Its just an everyday grind. I still do the same routine every single day, still get up my extra shots every single day. So I try not to alter what Im doing. Regardless of whether Im missing shots or if Im making shots, I still shoot the same amount of shots after practice and before practice. Its just staying confident, staying focused and believing in myself as my teammates do. Thats one thing that he works on everyday, Casey said. Hes a threat there. Theyre running at him and hes doing a great job of making plays off the dribble, because they are running so hard at him to get him off the three-point line. So thats a sign of respect. Horrys inexplicably successful career will not be easily matched. Known for his late-game heroics, the 16-year vet never missed the playoffs, winning seven NBA championships, more than Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan, which requires a fair amount of luck. But Big Shot Bob did have a flare for the dramatic, a quality Patterson has demonstrated down the stretch in each of Torontos last two games. His big moment came in Mondays overtime win over the Nuggets. Patterson had already hit a corner three to cut a five-point deficit down to two with just over two minutes left in regulation. Now, down three in the final minute, Lowry drove into the heart of the defence, sucking in Pattersons defender before kicking it out to the open forward, who drilled the game-tying bucket from the top of the key. Patterson had been screaming over the sound of a sellout crowd in the hopes of getting Lowrys attention. The two have developed a great feel for one another on the court, Patterson says. He was also on the floor in crunch time the following night in a loss to Cleveland, hitting a big 18-footer to give the Raptors their last lead of the game. The fifth-year forward has become cerebral in moments like these. I hear everything, he told reporters after Mondays win. I hear fans in whatever section, I cant remember which one, there was a guy screaming, hey P-Pat. Theres another fan after I made that three say, yea thats what Im talking about PD-Pat, lets go Patman save the day. I hear everything. Its a huge responsibility, that I want to have, said the self-proclaimed Big Shot Pat. Whether its hitting crunch-time shots like that, hitting game-changing shots like that. Thats what I want to do. Thats what I want to be known for. ' ' '

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