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in Events 21.01.2019 02:50
von vv1122365 Caelicola | 780 Beiträge | 7800 Punkte

TORONTO – Under the strain of a no. 1 gig in the NHL for the very first time, Jonathan Bernier has learned that its best to do little with off-nights from the grueling schedule, condensed as it is in an Olympic year. "I go home and watch TV and just rest," he said with a smile. "But thats what you need to do to be successful. Thats what Im going to do." And thats precisely what the Maple Leafs need him to do. Outside of the incomparable Phil Kessel, no player means more to Torontos fortunes down the stretch and into a hopeful postseason run than the 25-year-old between the pipes. Freed from the shadows of Jonathan Quick, Bernier has shined brilliantly in his first go-around as an NHL starter, minding the fort on most nights in front of a poor defensive team. The Laval, Quebec native ranks sixth in save percentage amongst goaltenders with at least 30 starts, this despite facing more shots than anyone but Mike Smith – Smith, of course, making nine more starts. Whether Bernier has the juice to maintain such a performance down the stretch could very well determine his teams fate. Though theyve scored in droves all year, the Leafs have also struggled badly to defend, requiring Bernier to fend off a barrage of 35, 40 and sometimes 50 shots against on many nights. His efforts have rarely wavered in spite of the workload. Berniers best month in terms of save percentage was October when he posted a sterling .933 mark, his worst coming more recently in January with a still respectable .916 showing. The Leafs – who allow a league-high of more than 36 shots per game – would not be on the firm ground of a playoff spot currently without such feats. "I knew my biggest challenge this year was going to be consistency," he told the Leaf Report, "to be good every night and hopefully, once in a while, be great and steal a few games for your team. Thats my main goal, to be good every night and give a chance to my team to win. But thats hard. When you havent played that much (as a starter) you feel tired a lot more than you are usually so its more like a grind mentally to push yourself to be better every day and work hard in practice. "Why (Henrik) Lundqvist is known as the best is hes going to be good every night and hes going to be great once in a while. Thats how you become the best is consistency. You can have one good year and then youre not going to be the best because youve got to prove it over and over. Thats what makes you a great player." Not since the 2009-10 season has Bernier played anywhere near this many games (40 starts) and that was when he was a Manchester Monarch in the AHL. His performance then was eye-catching. Then just 21, he posted a league-leading .936 save percentage during the regular season – Nathan Lawson was second at .922 – raising his level even higher in the playoffs with a .939 mark that again topped every one of his Calder Cup counterparts. All of which makes his performance this season if not surprising then reaffirming of the promise he showed early and often as a highly-touted prospect in the Kings organization. The question lingering now is whether he can continue to perform down the stretch or whether the strain of a sometimes painstaking load in Toronto will prove too much to bear. It will be worthwhile testing ground for the 11th pick in the 06 draft and could ultimately decide the Leafs fate this season. They remain a bad defensive team even with his heroics, ranking fifth to last in goals against. If he falters theres every chance they too falter as well (James Reimer lurks in the background in that case as a proven, if not unused, alternative). Bernier was on point in the final lead-up to the 18-day Olympic stoppage, but was scuffed up in his first two starts afterward, yielding nine goals combined in overtime losses to the Islanders and Canadiens. Off-nights like that will challenge the Leafs playoff push. Theyve required great goaltending to get to this point and will need more of the same in the final 20 games, the bulk of which Bernier is in line to start. Bernier for his part is doing what he can to remain sharp in the final leg of the regular season race. Earlier this season he noted that perhaps the greatest challenge of reassuming control of no. 1 duties is the mental focus required each and every night through an exhausting schedule, not simply the physical wear and tear associated with the job. "Its all about rest and feeling good about yourself and making sure you eat properly, you rest, you sleep good," he said. "Those are the things that are going to get you through a full season to be mentally sharp." Ambition is certainly high for Bernier. He wants to be great and the Leafs, at this stage, need him to be great, gambled when they acquired him that he could be great. "I dont want to look too far ahead," he said, "but my goal is to be the best I can be. Its going to take a few years to get that name (for myself) … but right now Im going day by day and enjoying to play games. Thats what Ive been waiting for and it feels good." Air Jordan 3 Outlet Australia . Summers has seen scant playing time with the Coyotes since being selected 29th overall by the club in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, having played in 47 career NHL games. Wholesale Air Jordan 3 Australia . Bale has had a successful debut season in Spain, and Ancelotti appears ready to reward him with a starting role on Saturday. Ancelotti says "Gareth had some problems at the beginning (of the season) but when he found good physical condition he scored a lot of goals, he had a good impact on the team. http://www.cheapairjordan3australia.com/ Cheap Air Jordan 3 Wholesale .Y. - The New York Yankees made it official Saturday, announcing the completion of a seven-year deal with free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and a one-year contract for returning starter Hiroki Kuroda. Cheap Jordan 3 Australia .B. -- Canadian pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford went from elated to frustrated in the span of a few minutes.PITTSBURGH -- The San Jose Sharks kept coming at Marc-Andre Fleury. From the point. From the left circle. From the right circle. From the slot. From right in front of the net. The more shots the Sharks fired at the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie, the more creative he became. A pad here, a stick there. Fleury even found a way to make a few of his 44 stops while doing an impersonation of a snow angel in a 5-1 victory Thursday night. "When they dont go in, its fun," Fleury said with a laugh. "It makes you feel more a part of the action." Of course, getting staked to a massive lead helps. Chris Kunitz scored twice during a four-goal outburst early in the second period as Pittsburgh won its fifth straight. Pascal Dupuis, Jayson Megna and Kris Letang also scored for the Penguins, who snapped San Joses six-game winning streak. Sidney Crosby added three assists in his 500th career game to push his point total to an NHL-leading 42. Despite the lopsided outcome, the Penguins werent exactly ready to call it a statement of any kind. It is December, after all. "I dont know if the score dictated how much of a good team they are," Kunitz said. "Itll maybe settle down the next time we play them. Its going to be probably a closer game, but its nice to be opportunistic and score those goals." Pittsburgh rolled despite playing without star Evgeni Malkin, scratched after sustaining a lower-body injury during the morning skate. Dupuis left early in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He will be re-evaluated Friday. The Penguins cruised anyway while handing the Sharks just their fourth loss in regulation this season. Tomas Hertl got his 14th goal for San Jose. Antti Niemi made 23 saves but was pulled after two periods. "It was more our mistakes than what they did right," San Jose forward Logan Couture said. "We werent ourselves. We werent moving pucks. We were turning it over. In the neutral zone we werent good. I think it was more us than them." The Pacific Division front-runners hardly looked like the team that came in leading the league in goal differential and had outscored opponents 24-12 over its last six games. All that momentum came to a grinding halt during a frantic second period. Dupuis deflected a slap shot from Brooks OOrpik by Niemi just 27 seconds in to give Pittsburgh the lead.dddddddddddd Megna made it 2-0 just more than 2 minutes later when his wrist shot from the left circle zipped over Niemis right shoulder at the end of a 3-on-2 break for his third goal of the season. Kunitz kept up the barrage at 5:27 when the Sharks turned it over in their own end and the puck ended up on Crosbys stick. Niemi stopped Crosbys wrist shot but Kunitz flipped the rebound into the wide-open net. Kunitz struck again barely 2 minutes later when he buried a loose puck by Niemi for his 16th goal of the season and fifth in his last six games. "I think what (Kunitz) does is underappreciated, especially in terms of how he does it at the net front," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "He plays in hard areas in hard minutes. Hes not a big-body guy, but hes a force." The Sharks kept Fleury busy but had trouble finding holes. Hertl made it 4-1 at 9:27 of the second when his centring pass from the bottom of the left circle deflected off a Pittsburgh skate and between Fleurys legs. San Jose got no closer. Letang beat backup Alex Stalock with a slap shot from just inside the blue line 3:30 into the third to push Pittsburghs advantage to 5-1 as the Sharks stumbled in the second game of a four-game road trip. The loss spoiled forward Tyler Kennedys homecoming. The centre spent six years in Pittsburgh, scoring three game-winning goals during the Penguins run to the 2009 Stanley Cup and earning minor folk hero status for his perpetually scruffy beard and knack for delivering in big moments. Kennedy, traded to San Jose last summer, received a loud ovation following a brief video tribute midway through the first period. It was a rare highlight for the Sharks, who were never in it over the final 35 minutes. "I dont think thats our team out there tonight," Kennedy said. "I dont think we played very well, myself included. Weve got to be better." NOTES: The Penguins are 16-1 when scoring first. ... San Jose D Dan Boyle played in his 900th career game. ... The Sharks scratched F Mike Brown, F Matt Pelech and D Matt Irwin. ... In addition to Malkin, the Penguins also scratched F Zach Sill and D Robert Bortuzzo. ... San Jose plays in Carolina on Friday. Pittsburgh travels to Boston on Saturday. 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