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miaowang123 Nov 28
BUFFALO – In about half as many games, the Toronto penalty kill has already allowed more power-play goals this season than it did all of last year. Fake Vapormax Plus . A once dominant unit that finished second best in the league in 2013 (87.9%) has fallen to 20th overall (79.4%) after two months this winter. The groups increasing woes were highlighted on Wednesday night by a season-high three-goal outburst from the Penguins power play in an eventual 6-5 shootout loss. "We havent changed anything," Jay McClement told the Leaf Report on Thursday afternoon. "Were just not getting the job done. I dont know what it is, but weve gotten away from the basic things that made us successful. You can say that weve had a couple bad bounces here and there, but were getting too many [scored] on us the last little while to say that." Over the past 11 games – a stretch that began at the outset of November – the Leafs have allowed 13 power play goals, hovering at just 71 per cent in that span. Already this season, theyve given up 20 power play goals or one more than all of last season. The sure-fire attitude once owned by the group has gradually taken a hit. "Thats a confidence were going to have to build back up over a big stretch of games here," said McClement, who leads the NHL in average ice-time shorthanded. "It seems like we have a couple good kills and we start to get it, start to build on it and then we give one up. [Its] something we just have to stick with and try not to lose all our confidence and get frustrated with it." A confident bunch last season, the Leafs rarely allowed sustained opportunity for opposing power plays, typically clearing the puck and changing personnel with seamless precision. The job hasnt gone quite so smoothly so far this season, be it because of positional mistakes, failed clears, easy entries, or simple confusion. Increasingly, the unit has relied far too heavily upon its two goaltenders. Consider that in 48 games last season, the Toronto penalty kill allowed 193 shots against; already this season, in just 25 games, the same unit has given up 182 shots. Under increased strain, the goaltending has been good, but not quite as good as a year ago. James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier have combined to post a .890 save percentage shorthanded this season, slightly worse than the .902 mark set by Reimer and Ben Scrivens last season. "I think theres some trends that have come in," said Randy Carlyle of the penalty kill. "I think weve vacated the critical areas. I think weve won faceoffs and not cleared the puck. I think weve given up the middle of the ice too many times, gotten on the wrong side of the puck. "Those are things that were going to continue to try to fix because it has been a staple of our game. When those staples go away it reveals that youre not playing anywhere near where youre capable of playing." Not helping matters either is the discipline of the group. The Leafs have taken more minor penalties (113) than any team but the Ottawa Senators this season; up to 4.52 minors per game from 3.69 last season. A string of five straight such penalties helped propel the Penguins to come back from a 4-1 second period deficit on Wednesday night. "When youve got a good PK," said Carl Gunnarsson, third on the team in shorthanded minutes, "you feel good going out there and you know youre going to kill it probably 80, 90 per cent of the time." Just as the strut of the penalty kill has gradually diminished from the stronghold of last season, so too have a few key parts. Most prominently absent this year is Leo Komarov, an energetic and effective component in 2013 who returned to the KHL this season. Two additional pieces who made significant contributions, Mark Fraser and Nik Kulemin, missed nearly a month with injuries. "I think right now when you go through a spell like were going through, its tough to have that attitude," McClement said. "Its just really up and down right now. I guess more downs than ups right now. I think the biggest thing is we cant lose our confidence in it. We know what were doing works, weve just got to do it better." Cheap Fake Vans . - A mixed martial arts fighter who changed his name to War Machine was ordered Friday to stand trial in Nevada state court on 34 felony charges including attempted murder, sexual assault and kidnapping that could get him life in prison for allegedly attacking his porn star ex-girlfriend and her friend. Fake Balenciaga Shoes . -- Olympic medallist Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que.LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke and Jhoulys Chacin both had to grind through six innings Tuesday night. The difference for the Los Angeles Dodgers was the home run ball. Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run shot against Chacin before leaving with a hand injury, and Greinke got some critical outs with runners in scoring position during a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Matt Kemp also went deep and Carlos Triunfel hit his first major league home run after replacing Ramirez. Greinke (9-3) threw a season-high 117 pitches over six innings, allowing a run and three hits with five strikeouts and two walks. "It was definitely a tough game," said Greinke, who tied St. Louis Adam Wainwright and Cincinnatis Alfredo Simon for the NL lead in wins. "It seemed like they had guys on base every inning. There were a lot of foul balls on two-strike counts where they just kept fighting it off. So it gets really tough." Ramirez, a three-time All-Star shortstop and the 2009 NL batting champion, left in the seventh with a bruised ring finger on his right hand after Corey Dickersons hard grounder to him deflected into short centre field for an RBI double that trimmed the Dodgers lead to 3-2. "That was a rocket -- kind of an in-between hop to Hanley," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who played 1,397 games at shortstop in the majors and 37 of them at Dodger Stadium. "Theres not much you can do there as a shortstop. You hope that you can smother it if it falls at your feet, but that ball was hit so hard, theres not a lot that Hanley could do on that one." X-rays on Ramirezs throwing hand were negative. "Thats great news for us. We obviously dodged a big bullet," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Hanleys probably the biggest part of our lineup when were going right. He carried us last year, and I feel like hes getting close to that point where he can carry us again. Hes definitely one of the best bats in all of baseball, and well be happy to get him back whenever hes ready." Triunfel took over at shortstop and reliever J.P. Howell gave way to Brandon League. The Rockies loaded the bases, but League retired Wilin Rosario on a grounder to third. Triunfel provided an insurance run against Tommy Kahnle with a towering drive that landed in the lower seats in the left-field corner. Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth and Kenley Jansen got three outs for his 20th save, the third straight season that the former catcher has reached that figure. Chacin (1-5) gave up three runs, seven hits and three walks in six iinnings. Air Max 97 Outlet. The right-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth when he retired pinch-hitter Justin Turner on a popup. "I knew he didnt want to come out of that game. I just went out there to check with him and make sure he was OK," Weiss said. "I wanted to let him try to get through that inning because he battled all night, so I felt he earned that. He stepped up and pitched his way through that inning." Eleven members of the Los Angeles Kings escorted the Stanley Cup to Dodger Stadium for a pregame ceremony, four days after they won their second NHL championship in three years. The Dodgers posed with them for a group photo, then showed off their own "power play" as Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the third and Kemp led off the fourth with his seventh of the season. Greinke also received some defensive help. Rookie third baseman Miguel Rojas robbed Dickerson in the third with a skidding, backhanded stop down the line. Right fielder Yasiel Puig took away a potential bloop single from Rosario in the fourth with a diving grab after a long run. Greinke got through the first unscathed after giving up one-out singles by Dickerson and Troy Tulowitzki. The Rockies loaded the bases with none out in the sixth, but all they got off Greinke was a sacrifice fly from Rosario. "Zack competed. They really battled him hard and he really grinded through some tough innings," Ellis said. "That was huge for us. That inning could have spiraled out of control and really depleted our bullpen." NOTES: Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams and his now clean-shaven Kings teammates took batting practice, fielded grounders and shagged flies. Each player threw a ceremonial first pitch simultaneously to a corresponding Dodger. After that, Kings defenceman Willie Mitchell carried the Cup over to the Rockies dugout, where he posed with Canadian-born 1B Justin Morneau. ... Rockies RHP Nick Masset began serving the three-game suspension he received from Major League Baseball on Tuesday for throwing at Atlanta catcher Evan Gattis last Thursday. Masset also was fined an undisclosed amount. ... The Dodgers signed their first-round draft pick, RHP Grant Holmes, the 22nd overall selection out of Conway High School in South Carolina. He got a $2.5 million signing bonus. ... Chacin was coming off a 10-3 victory against Atlanta in which he held the Braves to two hits over seven scoreless innings. ... Ramirez came in 0 for 9 against Chacin, who had allowed four homers in 45 2-3 innings over his eight previous starts this season. ' ' '
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