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ggled some in his sophomore season, the L
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导出博客文章TORONTO – Sixteen of the 20 players who dressed for the Leafs on the night of November 14, 2009 are now gone. Alex English Jersey . That night, with the Calgary Flames in town, a little-known defender and seventh-round selection from Sweden made his NHL debut. Nearly four years later and only Carl Gunnarsson and the trio of Phil Kessel, Nik Kulemin and Colton Orr still remain in Toronto. "Weve been through a lot," Gunnarsson said of the remaining handful during a conversation with TSN.ca earlier this week. "Ups, mostly downs, but last year was a big change. It feels good." With a sense of ownership rivaling few in the room in terms of longevity, Gunnarsson believes the time is right for him to emerge as a leader. On the verge of his fifth season in Toronto, he wants the responsibility that comes with steering the ship.   "And thats something I expect from myself," he said, "taking that next step and hopefully have just as good a season as last year." Leadership is imparted in many different forms. Gunnarsson just hopes to find his suited brand and help guide the Leafs up another rung on the ladder, following a long-awaited playoff appearance last year.  "Some guys talk a lot, some guys dont," Gunnarsson said of leadership. "But if you can say something in the room thats good or if you can just help the new guys out with whatever it might be ... Ive been here for awhile, had Randy for a season and a half. Im one of those guys that kind of knows what its all about. And obviously I need to be reminded too, but if I can help some other guys get into it quicker thats part of it." Valued as a quiet and stable cog on defence, one upon whom the coaching staff can rely on for extended minutes in varied situations, the Leafs wisely chose to keep Gunnarsson in the fold, signing him to a three-year contract worth $9.45 million this past summer. "They put a lot of trust in me," he beamed proudly of the deal. "They, as I do too, have some high expectations. It feels good that they really want me on the team. Thats how I looked at it. Especially this year when a lot of guys dont have contracts, cap is lower. That was huge for me." While he struggled some in his sophomore season, the Leafs havent had to worry much about the reliable 6-foot-2 defender, who tends to go about his business quietly. Now with 224 games of NHL experience, Gunnarsson believes hes better prepared to hurdle past adversity at this stage in his career, wiser than when he first made the jump from Sweden. "Experience, thats knowledge too," he grinned. Suiting up for 37 games last season, Gunnarsson was bothered by a troublesome issue in his hip from the outset of training camp. The injury persisted all year – he missed 11 games – but with an off-season of rest and treatment there was an expectation that he would feel better in the fall. Early reports suggest that being the case, this after a series of two-a-day on-ice workouts just this past week. "Right now where I am from last year its a huge difference I think," Gunnarsson said. "Not saying that Im not going to have to get treatment or stay on top of it everyday because thats what its going to be. I think thats how it is for every injury. If you have a knee surgery or you strained your ACL or whatever it might be, youve got to stay on top of that. Some guys play with braces or whatever it might be. I feel way better from last year so thats a good feeling coming into this season. Hopefully its going to stay on this level and whenever we get a couple days off just treat it the way it needs to be treated." One of the few known commodities and a source of understated stability, the Swedish defenders ongoing health is quietly crucial to the makeup of the Toronto defence. While maybe not perfectly cast for the role Gunnarsson has nonetheless proven he can absorb difficult minutes on a first pairing with Dion Phaneuf. Chuckling as he describes himself as "old and wise" after a stuffed four years in the league, Gunnarsson knows he represents a rare symbol of longevity in Toronto and hes now ready to do his part and lead. -- [i] Tyler Bozak made his NHL debut on October 13 before returning to the Marlies until January. Jason Kidd Jersey . Josh Mazzola drove in five runs to lead the Goldeyes (20-12) past the Capitales 11-5 Friday night at Le Stade Municipal in Quebec City. Mavericks Jerseys 2021 .ca. Hi Kerry, Love reading your column and loved watching your analysis on the TSN broadcasts!And were now in Round 2! Bruins! Canadiens! We know all about the great games of the past from the players, the broadcasters and the writers. https://www.cheapmavericks.com/483l-mich...ricks.html . Henrik Samuelsson and Luke Bertolucci also scored for the Oil Kings, who are now 9-0 on home ice in the playoffs to cut Portlands series lead to 2-1. Chase De Leo and Mathew Dumba responded for the Winterhawks, who suffered just their fourth loss in their last 46 games, a string of success running all the way back to Jan.TORONTO – Before his unlikely heroics on this night, James Reimer wondered whether he had played his final game in a Maple Leafs uniform. And then he had an odd feeling as he left his home in the greater Toronto area on Thursday afternoon, a feeling that he was going to play that night against the Bruins – a game that Jonathan Bernier was to start. He told his wife April as much. “I didnt know why,” he said afterward. “Sometimes you just get those feelings.” His premonition proved on point. Reimer stepped in for the injured Bernier on Thursday night and helped the Leafs keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 overtime win – their second straight against Boston. “He gave us a chance,” said head coach Randy Carlyle afterward. “And good for him. We needed that and he needed that. Its great.” It was the second time in less than a month that Reimer came to the rescue for the Leafs. Back in mid-March, he stepped in for Bernier at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and delivered a perfect 31-save performance in what seemed then to be a defining win. But he struggled mightily in the days that followed – .871 save percentage in five starts – a cloud of negativity building as the losses piled for both him and the team. Pulled 10 minutes into a Mar. 23 start in Jersey, his career as a Leaf appeared over. The former No. 1 had become the scapegoat what for ailed the sinking Leafs – his obvious struggles notwithstanding. “I was just focusing on playing the best I can for my teammates and trying to grind out a win,” he said of relief duty against Boston, stopping 10 of 11 shots. “Obviously those are thoughts that kind of go through your mind, but you cant be thinking about that when youve got Chara standing in front of you.” He hopped off the bench and into the net with less than 12 minutes left in the final frame and the Leafs up a goal at 3-2, another third period lead hanging on by a thread. Boston had a power-play too, Paul Ranger punished from shoving Patrice Bergeron into Bernier and thus injuring the 25-year-old netminder. Cold, save for a few stretches in front of the Toronto bench, Reimer jumped in and stopped all three Bruins shots with the man advantage. Bergeron, an infamous nemesis, snuck one by to knot the score at three, but from there Reimer held strong, keeping his teams playoff hopes alive until Nazem Kadri won it in overtime. “Hes the first guy that everyone seems to hop on when our team doesnt do so well,” Kadri said of finger-pointing in Reimers direction last month. “At that point when we were losing the team in front of him just couldnt bring it together and figure things out and obviously the goalies left out there to dry by himself. We felt bad. Now its about time we have his back and step up to the plate.” Cast aside countless times in his Toronto tenure, Reimer might have an opportunity to salvage some good and redeem himself in what are likely his final days as a Leaf. He may just be the guy – with Berniers status in question – the Leafs have to lean on one last time as they fight for playoff hopes that remain thin even after Thursdays timely win. Toronto remains a point back of Columbus – who also won Thursday and holds two games in hand – with just four games left. “Im going to try and go in there and just give the guys a chance,” he said. “Ive got belief in this team. I know weve got the passion and the desire to get it done. Were going to pull together and give it all we got.” Five Points 1. Biggest Goal Kadri played the fewest minutes of his season Thursday, but scored what was easily the biggest goal. The 23-year-old deposited a Cody Franson rebound beyond Bruins backup Chad Johnson. “That was unbelievable,” he said of his 19th marker this season. “Its probably one of the bigger goals of the year that weve scored. We needed it. That was a good Boston team that is relentless. We knew that coming in we werent safe with a one or two-goal lead; that we had to keep fighting to the end and thats exactly what happened.” Dropped to the fourth line against Boston, Kadri played alongside Jerry DAmigo and a rotating cast of wingers. He finished the night with 11 minutes and 40 seconds, given an opportunity on the power-play in overtime. “Obviously I dont control that sort of thing,” Kadri said of his ice-time, which has dipped over the past couple weeks. “Its out of my control and I just worry about trying to bring everything I can for the team every single day, no matter if Im on the first line or fourth line, it doesnt matter to me. Im going to still play my game and try and contribute as much as possible.” Carlyle explained Kadris decreasing opportunity prior to the game. “We felt that Nazzie wasnt moving his feet and he wasnt playing the north-south game, he was playing more of the same east-west game and he was getting caught a lot by back-side pressure,” Carlyle said. “Weve talked to him about it. Weve had discussions about it. Hes got to be stronger down-low.” 2. Injured Bernier, who missed the aforementioned five ggames in March with a groin injury, put no weight on his left leg as he was helped off the ice in front of a stunned ACC crowd. Tim Hardaway Jersey. . Labeled a lower-body injury – Carlyle wouldnt say if it was a re-aggravation of the groin issue – he was due to go for an MRI as soon as possible. Seeing his crease counterpart hunched on one knee in the crease, Reimer knew something was wrong and figured hed be going in. “I know what its like to get hurt and you kind of know the body language of a goalie,” Reimer said. “I tried to hop over the bench as soon as possible and start getting warmed up. Obviously youre hoping that hes going to be alright and that he can stay in there because he was doing a heck of a job for us, but obviously wasnt the case. I just tried to do my best and hopefully he can get back soon.” 3. Freeze Catchphrase It was déjà vu of sorts for the Leafs in the final period as the Bruins raced all the way back from a 3-1 lead, scoring twice on goals from Milan Lucic and Bergeron. Under siege for the better part of the frame – they were being outshot 10-1 at one point – Toronto was just hanging on for life – much like Game 7 last spring. Carlyle told his club – which has gone into “freeze mode” on many occasions – to breathe. “Thats been our catchphrase now because you cant do anything if you dont breathe. And thats whats happened to our hockey club is when were freezing were paralyzed,” he explained, before repeating what would seem to have been his advice. “‘Just breathe. Just breathe. Take it easy. Breathe. Well get through it. Do the things that youre accustomed to doing. Believe in the system. Commit to it and just breathe. Relax.” 4. Top Line Scorching in the opening months of 2014, Torontos top line had cooled considerably coming into Thursdays game, specifically their two top guns, Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. Kessel had only four goals and 10 points in the previous 16 games, van Riemsdyk totaling five and eight in that same span. Both, along with Tyler Bozak, came alive against the Bruins. Kessel initiated a pair of goals from the line, firing a pass off the midsection of Bozak for the Leafs second goal and then finding van Riemsdyk in front of Johnson for the third marker. The latter was the 30th goal of the season for the 24-year-old van Riemsdyk, the first time hes hit that mark in the NHL. “Obviously it was a nice milestone,” he said afterward. As to whats ailed the Leafs top pair, fatigue might be one factor – along with the subsequent bumps and bruises. Both Kessel and van Riemsdyk actually saw their ice-time increase after their Olympic experience with Team USA to nearly 22 minutes per game in March. Carlyle, however, saw the struggles of the man advantage as one reason for their slowdown. “Obviously the power-play is a big part of their opportunity to give us more offence,” he said. “And I think the power-play has been up and down at times for us. Some nights we look real good on it and then some instances within the game it actually has taken energy away from us with our inability to execute on it and not even create scoring chances.” True enough. Empty on Thursday, van Riemsdyk has now gone 22 consecutive games without a single point on the power-play, his last goal coming all the way back on Jan. 30. Kessel has just one power-play point himself in the past 21 games and hasnt scored a power-play goal since Feb. 1. The duo remains 1-2 in team scoring this season. 5. Still Alive Of the Leafs still tepid playoff chances, Carlyle wouldnt jump too far ahead after back-to-back wins. “Were alive,” he said, “but theres a lot of things that have to go our way. All were going to focus on is what we can control and we can control our effort and our commitment to our team game and thats what were going to focus on.” Asked if his team needed to run the table in the remaining four games – opposite Winnipeg, Tampa, Florida and Ottawa – Carlyle responded, “I just worry about the next one.” And that next one comes Saturday against the Jets. Stats-Pack 30 – Goals for James van Riemsdyk this season, the first 30-goal campaign of his career. 11:40 – Ice-time for Nazem Kadri, his lowest of the season. 22 – Consecutive games without a power-play point for van Riemsdyk. 2-2-0 – Leafs record versus Boston this season. 20:29 – Ice-time for Troy Bodie, a career-high and the most of any Leaf Thursday save for Kessel. 79 – Points for Kessel this season, now third in league scoring. 10 – Stops for James Reimer in relief of Jonathan Bernier. 5 – Points in the past 13 games for Kadri, third in team scoring with 49 points. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-3Season: 20.5% (5th) PK: 2-2Season: 78.8% (28th) Quote of the Night “Wed like to win, thats for sure. Wed like to win as consistently. Those are models that every organization aspires to.” -Randy Carlyle, on replicating the Bruins success. Up Next The Leafs host the Jets Saturday in their final home game of the regular season. ' ' '
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