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13.03.2019 03:56
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TORONTO – Randy Carlyle fears the house of cards will soon collapse. "6-1 is only a stat," he declared following an instructive Wednesday practice that lingered for upwards of an hour. "We really know the body of work has to improve. And yet were happy to take 6-1, but theres a but." Though theyve certainly achieved the desired result with six victories in their first seven games, the process has been anything but a pretty picture for the Leafs. In their most recent outing against the Wild on Tuesday night, they rarely had the puck, were outshot 37-14, out-attempted 68-30 and yet escaped with a deceiving 4-1 win. It was yet another incomplete victory, an effort in which the Leafs managed to capture two points in spite of glaring and growing flaws. Only terrific special teams, stability in goal from the duo of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, and a potent offence have kept the bubble from bursting so far. "Its a fine line," Jay McClement told the Leaf Report, with the Carolina Hurricanes set to visit the ACC on Thursday. "You dont want to rain on our record, but at the same time theres quite a few games that couldve gone the other way and we have to look at that and judge our game accordingly, not just on the result." Theres been sloppiness with the puck, an inconsistent forecheck, little to no sustained pressure in the offensive zone, and far too many quality scoring chances against from the critical areas in and around the net. "I just think overall were too loose in the three zones," Carlyle said Tuesday morning before the game against the Wild. "I think its the ability to step inside and be first on pucks; talk about team toughness and all those things, its willing to take a check to make a play; stop on pucks instead of circling away; win your share of 1-on-1 battles; start with the puck more on faceoffs. All those things are factors that go into improving your team play." A consequence of poor puck possession, the Leafs are yielding more than 34 shots per game - fifth-worst overall - putting undue pressure on their goaltenders to be the difference most nights in the early going. And while Bernier and Reimer and have done just that, combining for a .934 save percentage, at some point the load will be too burdensome to bear, as was nearly the case against the Oilers in a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind overtime victory this past Saturday. "When we review and review and review theres just some areas that were really absent in," Carlyle said. "Its a nervous time in the coaches office because of the shot differential and the quality of chances that were giving up." "I think what Randys talking about and what we feel in here is we just lack the consistency right now in the strong team game that we had last year," McClement said. "We just havent had it for I dont think for more than a period or two here and there this year." But with their sparkling record, Carlyle can only push so hard for change. "You can hide behind 6-1 and 4-1," he said of his teams record and most recent victory. "And rightly or wrongly thats what athletes do." Fearful of being exposed in very short order - with a trip to the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks looming on Saturday - Carlyle is preaching that his group "look in the mirror" and contemplate just how unsustainable their current performance is, all this in spite of a glowing record. "You try to plead to everybodys individual preparation, their focus, their work ethic, do a little bit of self-evaluation," he said. Its not been all bad. In addition to mostly fine work in goal, the Leafs have benefited from superb special teams. Their lethal power-play has scored at least once in each of the six victories – without a goal in the lone defeat against Colorado – and rests as the third-best so far this season. A legitimate weapon last season, the penalty kill has remained elite, also third-best at this point. Offensively, the Leafs continue to score in bunches, nearly four per game in the opening two weeks. "We definitely have done positive things," McClement concluded. "Its just such a long year that you have to just get into good habits of playing the same way every night. If we do that I think were going to win a lot of games. "For a team, for a coaching staff, Im sure its the ideal situation; you have a good record, but you still dont feel like weve played as well as we can. I guess you could say its not the worst problem to have." Authentic Rashard Higgins Jersey . He made another correct read. The Browns, who have been shuttling quarterbacks on and off the field all season, finally got some good news on that front: Campbells ribs are only bruised. Authentic Ozzie Newsome Jersey . Tepesch, back from the minor leagues, earned his first major league victory in more than 10 months and the Rangers edged the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Wednesday. http://www.cheapbrownsjerseysauthentic.c...-devalve-jersey. So far, so good: Gonzalez has allowed one run through 12 innings this season. His second start came Tuesday night, when he gave up only three singles over six innings to lead the Nationals to a 5-0 victory over the Miami Marlins. Authentic David Njoku Jersey .Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have fired receivers coach Ike Hilliard. Authentic Devaroe Lawrence Jersey . The 20-year-old overager has appeared in 35 games for the Ontario Hockey Leagues Erie Otters this season, scoring 41 goals and adding 27 assists with a plus-28 rating.The Pittsburgh Penguins may be looking into their past for potential general manager candidates. According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, sources say former Penguins assistant coach and current TV analyst Pierre McGuire has had two interviews with the team. The Penguins fired Ray Shero last month after the team gave up a 3-1 series leaad before being eliminated by the New York Rangers in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.dddddddddddd McGuire was part of Scotty Bowmans coaching staff when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 1992. He would go on to become the head coach of the Hartford Whalers for one season, posting a record of 23-37-7 in 67 games. ' ' '

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