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Dec 5, 2012 1:01am
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TORONTO – He and Jonathan Boutin flip-flopped all the way through the playoffs
that year in the coast. Andre Johnson Womens Jersey . James Reimer
and the 96th overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning (2003) joined forces in the
spring of 2009 to secure the South Carolina Stingrays third and most recent
Kelly Cup, the top prize in the East Coast Hockey League. Boutin actually made
more starts than Reimer during the run, but it was the Manitoba native who
managed to snare the MVP award, sealing a Game Seven championship victory over
the Alaska Aces with 26 saves. It was perhaps the ultimate form of win and youre
in. “During the run, I didnt play for a couple weeks in the playoffs even,”
Reimer told TSN.ca on Monday afternoon, “just the way it worked out.” Fast
forward three seasons and Reimer is staring at a similar scenario in the NHL,
the 23-year-old searching for answers alongside Jonas Gustavsson in a crease
thats been increasingly shaky for the slumping Leafs – .867 save percentage
combined in the last six – not helped either by a series of wobbly efforts
defensively. Clinging to a playoff berth thats in danger of slipping from their
grasp – eighth in the East with losses in five of six – the Leafs need to find
some measure of stability between the pipes, be it Reimer or Gustavsson. The
27-year-old Swede has been unquestionably the more reliable option – notably in
January – and will start on Tuesday with the Devils in town. “Even if they would
say to me that I would be a starter its not like Okay, now Im going to play five
games so I can relax in the first game,” Gustavsson explained to TSN.ca of his
mindset under the current rotation. “Youre always just looking at that opponent
you have that night and trying to go out there and battle no matter whats been
said before the game. “You always know if you play good, youre going to get more
chances, if not the next game or in the next few games, at least youre going to
get a chance. Thats how its always been. Before I came here, as soon as I
started playing at a high level where it was a lot of competition, thats how it
is, thats how it should be. You shouldnt be feeling like you can do whatever and
keep playing, it should be a competition. And thats something I think is going
to push me to work even harder.” Any previous uncertainty appeared to settle
itself somewhat in January. Gustavsson won seven of 11 starts to begin the New
Year (2.08 goals against average, .926 save percentage), also posting three
shutouts along the way. “Hes playing well enough that we can ride with him,” Ron
Wilson said after a win in Long Island on January 24, the final game before the
All-Star break. Such a notion unraveled in a hurry  – the first game after the
break, in fact  – Gustavsson and the Leafs disintegrating down the stretch of an
eventual 5-4 shootout loss in Pittsburgh. Reimer drew the start a night later in
a rematch with the Penguins in Toronto, the embattled netminder posting the
first of consecutive shutouts. Inconsistent from that point forward, he and
Gustavsson have rotated amidst a wave of ineffective defensive play only
standing to accentuate the problem. “If our team didnt break down, wed be out of
a job pretty quick,” Reimer noted in defence of his teammates. “When theres a
big breakdown or a breakaway or a two-on-0, five-on-0 whatever the case, you
want to be there to make a big save and get your team going or keep them in it.
“Goaltending is a huge part of any team obviously, success or failure. When a
team has a subpar game, a goaltender can either steal you a point or even a
win.” It can mask flaws and reverberate through an entire lineup, but the way it
stands presently, goaltending has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the Leafs
push to the postseason. An answer must present itself in some fashion soon.
“Weve just got to support Reims and the Monster…as they work their way through
a tough period,” Wilson concluded. Five Points 1. No stranger to adversity,
Gustavsson offered his thoughts on working through a difficult period. “Just
because youve had one or two of those games, you cant really go back to the next
practice and change everything,” he explained. “Thats the most important thing
in those situations that you dont think too much, you dont try to change too
much because then youre going to be in deep trouble, thats what I think. Its all
about keep working on whats been successful for you and keep believing what
youre doing is the right thing.” 2. Post-practice work with goalie coach
Francois Allaire was nothing out of the ordinary on Monday. “Its like a golfer
working on his swing,” Gustavsson said. “If his swing coach can see theres
something that hes not doing the way they want, then you try just to correct
that. Theres no secret drills, its all about repetition, keep doing the same
things.” 3. Mikhail Grabovski has gone a season-high nine straight games without
a goal, stuck on 18 for the season. The drought is Grabovskis longest since a
12-game spell to begin the 2010-2011 season. 4. Thumped in Vancouver on
Saturday, the Leafs were punished for a series of poor decisions and coverage
defensively. “Maybe guys are cheating a little bit in the defensive zone to
create that offence,” Luke Schenn said. “The opposite happens when you cheat
offensively, you get scored on defensively and you dont create any offence. You
have to do things the right way out there; obviously it comes down to winning
your battles down-low, not losing coverage of guys and being aware of whats
going on; just comes down to winning those one-on-one battles and competing.” 5.
Yielding 21 goals against five-on-five in the last five games (4.2 per game),
the Leafs have dropped to 28th overall (122 against) in that department. Arian Foster Red Jersey .S. Open, beating
15-year-old WTA rookie Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday in the
first round of the Luxembourg Open. Glover Quin Jersey . Kane had a goal and two
assists and Chicago overcome a two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory Thursday night.
. It was a matchup that featured a team with just four wins against a club that
had just four defeats, but the Wizards gave the Cavs fits thanks to a season-
high 26 points from Mike James. But in the end, it was the other James who
played a part in helping the Cavaliers win for the 24th time in their last 26
games and move to 15-0 at Quicken Loans Arena. Johnathan Joseph Jersey . How close? Maybe an
inch. Mark Reynolds two-run single in the eighth inning backed a strong
performance from Wei-Yin Chen and rallied the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-3 victory
over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. The Orioles had failed several times
earlier in the game with runners in scoring position, but Reynolds was able to
reach out and bloop a single just in front of centre fielder Denard Span to put
the Orioles ahead. Andre Johnson Red Jersey . Tottenham
goalkeeper Brad Friedel preserved his sides clean sheet with a leaping catch of
a shot by Martin Skrtel in the 54th minute. Brad Jones played the first half in
goal for Liverpool and Peter Gulacsi took over after halftime.SEATTLE—Nearly
two months later, the Angels are starting to resemble the team they expected to
be coming out of spring straining. Kendrys Morales had three hits, including a
home run, scored twice and drove in two runs to help the Los Angeles Angels
complete their first four-game road sweep of the Seattle Mariners in 27 years
with a 4-2 victory Sunday. At one point in late April, the Angels were 7-15. But
theyve pulled themselves within one game of .500 (24-25) and 6 1-2 games behind
rival Texas in the AL West. “We got off to a rough start but everyone stayed on
an even keel,” said Mark Trumbo, who hit a solo homer in the seventh. “We have
confidence in what were doing now. This is the style of play we knew we could
do. I dont see any reason why we cant continue.” C.J. Wilson (6-4) earned the
win, allowing two hits and one run before leaving after six innings with a
blister on his left hand. “We dont need to score five runs in an inning. We just
need one run, one run, one run,” Wilson said. “Sometimes its a home run,
sometimes its a stolen base. The Angels added a run in the ninth on Howie
Kendricks sacrifice fly, scoring Morales. The batter before, Morales advanced to
third on another fly ball. “This is like we envisioned during spring training,
as offence that coalesces into a multifaceted unit, speed guys, power guys,”
Wilson said. “The last run we scored was a sac fly but Kendrys tagged up from
second on the flyout to centre field. Thats why he scored. We have to get greedy
every time we score a run.” Jordan Walden, Ernesto Frieri and Scott DDowns
covered for him over the final three innings. Arian Foster Youth Jersey. . Downs picked up
his fifth save. The Angels have won season-high six straight games, the longest
current streak in the majors. They last swept the Mariners in four games here
from April 25-28, 1985. Morales and Trumbo each hit solo home runs off Mariners
starter Hector Noesi (2-6). Both came on 0-2 pitches. The Mariners have lost
four in a row. Wilson, who struck out five and walked two, yielded a two-out
double to Jesus Montero in the fourth followed by Justin Smoaks RBI single to
right. Mike Trout opened the game with a single to right and stole second. He
scored on Morales two-out single to left. The Mariners closed it to one run in
the seventh when Montero scored from third on a wild pitch. Notes: Mariners
third baseman Kyle Seager made a quick, athletic move in the fifth to avoid
being hit by Trouts splintered bat. Seager gathered up the grounder but spotted
the bat barrel pin wheeling toward his head. He ducked under it, made a
360-degree turn and threw a strike to first. ... Alberto Callaspos pinch-hit
grand slam Saturday was the 6th allowed by the Mariners in club history but the
first since May 6, 1988 (Detroits Pat Sheridan off Mike Jackson.) ... Mariners
CF Franklin Gutierrez will be sent to Arizona Monday to start his rehab from a
torn right pectoral muscle in spring training. Its expected he will move along
to Triple-A Tacoma before returning. ... Two-time batting champion and career
.324 hitter Ichiro Suzuki went 0 for 3 against Wilson and has a career .196
average with 12 strikeouts against him. ’ ’ ’ 

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