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he has to continue doing
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TORONTO - What a difference three days made for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Matt Andriese Jersey . In the Winter Classic they played in front of 105,491 fans, many of whom drove several hours to Michigan Stadium to watch the spectacle amid frigid temperatures. Saturday night against the New York Rangers they were booed off the ice multiple times in an embarrassing 7-1 loss at Air Canada Centre that snapped the Leafs winning streak at three. "Getting booed off the ice in the first period, second period and the end of the game — and we deserved it," winger Joffrey Lupul said. "We were not good in any aspect. We dont feel very good about ourselves right now." There wasnt much to feel good about as the Leafs (21-17-5) experienced the worst kind of let-down from the high of the Winter Classic. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who had been stellar lately, was pulled for the first time all season, David Clarkson and Carl Gunnarsson left with injuries and everything fell apart at the seams. "Sometimes you have losses where you take some positives out of: some guys played well, you did certain things well, you didnt do other things well," said Lupul, who had Torontos only goal. "Tonight we did nothing well. Theres not much we can take out of this other than just not wanting to have this feeling in here again." The feeling of the loss led to the home locker-room being closed to the media much longer than usual. Coach Randy Carlyle called his teams lack of a push-back the "most disappointing thing" as goals piled up from Carl Hagelin, Dominic Moore (two), Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kreider, Brad Richards and Brian Byle. He shared the same sentiment with players. "My message was it was unacceptable to play and to feel that we were not embarrassed by what our performance was," Carlyle said. "And I stressed we." There was plenty of soul-searching after the Leafs most lopsided loss of the season, and as Lupul pointed out, plenty of blame to go around. Bernier, who had stopped 181-of-190 shots since relieving James Reimer on Dec. 21 against the Detroit Red Wings, gave up five goals on 32 shots to the Rangers before getting yanked for the first time this season. Moores first goal from a bad angle, which made it 2-0, was the softest he has allowed in a long time. Still, this one couldnt be pinned on Bernier, or even Reimer, who didnt fare much better in allowing two goals on 18 shots. "They had the freedom to roam about the ice and do what they wanted to do, and we didnt engage in the competitive side of it of limiting their space, stepping in front of anybody, skating in front of anybody to impede the progress," Carlyle said. "Obviously we left our goalies hanging high and dry." With the Leafs rarely in control of the puck and players being a step slow at times, the Rangers (21-20-2) pounced. They scored at least six goals for the first time this season and could have had as many as nine if Rick Nash finished on an empty net early and a late goal by Pouliot wasnt called back for Boyle interfering with Reimer. It was a real bounce-back effort for New York after losing 5-2 at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. "I know the guys were ready last night and turned the page on it, analyzed it, we got ready, the guys came out, moved the puck well, got some good opportunities and we were able to finish a couple," coach Alain Vigneault said. It stuck out that the Leafs couldnt keep pace with the Rangers, who travelled and were playing the second half of back-to-back games. "Its always disappointing when you give up seven goals, and especially they played last night," Bernier said. "They were just quicker and faster than us." All night the Leafs had no answers for what the Rangers were doing in the offensive zone. Defenceman Cody Franson, who was burned a couple of times on plays that led to goals, knew he and his teammates were on their heels from the get-go. "We got outworked, to put it mildly," Franson said. The Leafs certainly didnt do enough work to put pressure on Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot, who stopped 25 of the 26 shots thrown on net. It was another steady outing from the rookie, who improved to 9-3-0 with a 1.66 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. "Ive always just kind of started as a backup and then started playing more games, so Ive been in these situations before and you learn from every situation youre in," Talbot said. Theres not much the Leafs can learn from this one. They lost Clarkson to a left foot injury after he got hit with a shot from Rangers defenceman Michael Del Zotto and Gunnarsson to an upper-body injury following a hit from Hagelin. "No offence to those guys, but I dont know if they wouldve been helping tonight," Lupul said. "You never like to see guys go down, and those are two veteran guys and were hoping theyre all right. ... Thats certainly not an excuse for how we played tonight." Getting beaten so handily right after the Winter Classic was a ready-made excuse, even though Lupul and Carlyle noted that the Leafs were relieved to be done with the hype that came with the game and HBOs "24/7." Carlyle ended his post-game news conference blowing off any excuses. "I just look at tonight, you could go forwards, defence, you could go to our whole group, and we didnt have the competitive edge thats required to have success," he said. "Everything that I say is going to be an excuse, so Im not here to make an excuse for anybody." With answers lacking and excuses thrown out, Lupul passed along to reporters what was said in the locker-room afterward. It wasnt pretty. "Were not proud of that game, its embarrassing," he said. "I apologize to people who paid money to see us play like that. Its one game and were going to feel pretty bad about this tonight and then hopefully tomorrow come back and practise and get some life and try to turn the page on it." After so much notable progress in recent games, the Leafs were outshot 50-26. The loss stunted any momentum they had been building. "We felt that we were becoming more competitive," Carlyle said. "And this one kind of sent an A-bomb." NOTES — Newly acquired defenceman Tim Gleason was a healthy scratch as Carlyle stuck with the same lineup from the Winter Classic. Gleason took warm-ups, but Carlyle announced Saturday morning that the former Carolina Hurricanes blue-liner would not play unless there was a late injury or illness. ... Talbot got the start after Henrik Lundqvist played Friday night in Pittsburgh and allowed five goals in a loss to the Penguins. Bo Takahashi Jersey .Y. -- Syracuses streak lives on -- barely. Rod Barajas Jersey . Groves signed with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent last year after a season with Arizona. He was in the linebacker rotation and had a sack in the season opener against Miami. https://www.cheapdiamondbacksjerseys.us/ . Top-seeded Djokovic, who is making only his second appearance this year after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over 54th-ranked Istomin of Uzbekistan. "It wasnt as easy as the scoreline indicates," said Djokovic, who has won in Dubai on four occasions.MONTREAL – The meeting between Leafs general manager Dave Nonis and Phil Kessel last week had little to do with contract negotiations. Instead, Nonis and Kessel were sorting through the fallout of a wild melee with the Buffalo Sabres, one that saw Kessel suspended for the duration of the pre-season. "He brought up to me how important it was to stay," Nonis said on Tuesday afternoon of the conversation with Kessel. "And thats when we started negotiations. There werent negotiations early in camp. I wanted to hear from him and I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be a Toronto Maple Leaf. And once he did, we worked quickly and were able to reach an agreement." Kessel, who will turn 26 on Wednesday, and the Leafs agreed to an eight-year deal that will pay the winger $8 million per season, keeping him in Toronto until beyond his 34th birthday. "Ive always wanted to be here," said Kessel, who expressed no interest in negotiating an extension during the season, the deadline thus ticking in recent hours. "Its a place I wanted to play, want to finish my career here. Its a great city. The organization is unbelievable and Im real excited to continue here." Only two players in the NHL have finished top-10 in league scoring in each of the past two seasons: Lightning star Steven Stamkos and Kessel. Its that level of production, not easily replaced in todays NHL, which enticed the Leafs to lock him up as a cornerstone for the long-term, longer in fact than any player on the roster. "If you want to retain an elite player, youre going to probably have to give them fairly lengthy term," Nonis insisted, the David Clarkson seven-year deal this past summer another example of such requirements. "What you want to make sure of or be as comfortable as you can be that that player is going to be able to perform at a high level for most, if not all of it. And again, Phil being 26-years-old, Im pretty comfortable that weve got, hopefully, the best eight years of his career." Though he enters his eighth NHL season, Kessel remains relatively young and has demonstrated in recent years an ability to grow – both on and off the ice – and furthher mold an overall game that had been previously lacking. Jimmie Sherfy Jersey. Maybe most striking, however, and most prominent in the playoffs last spring was the intensity he presented against the Bruins, a handful opposite Chara and company with four goals and six points in the seven-game series. "Its not like he hadnt done anything prior to that series, but his desire to win and to compete and do things that dont come natural to him, I think that opened a lot of peoples eyes," Nonis said. "One thing with that is he has to continue doing that and he knows it." "I think maybe some people dont think he has a ton of compete in him, but we in the room know he does," said Tyler Bozak, who remained a Leaf this past summer with a five-year deal. "He puts up those points every single year for a reason." Kessel had scored 30 goals for four consecutive seasons before tallying 20 in the shortened 48-game schedule last year. Only three players have found twine more in the past three seasons, an impressive trio that includes Corey Perry, Alex Ovechkin and Stamkos. Whether that line of production continues to ascend though will be up to the player, according to Nonis. "Its going to be where he wants it to go," Nonis stated. "If he wants to continue that compete that he showed in the postseason... if he wants to continue to work on his conditioning and his strength and his playmaking and all those things that have improved over the last three or four years, Phil should continue to improve. We shouldnt see a flat-line, he should keep getting better." Dion Phaneuf is the next contract for Nonis and his management team to work on, the Leafs captain unsigned beyond this season. Ahead in the summer of 2014 looms a daunting list that includes Jake Gardiner (RFA), James Reimer (RFA), Cody Franson (RFA), Mark Fraser (RFA), Mason Raymond (UFA), Paul Ranger (UFA), Nik Kulemin (UFA) and Dave Bolland (UFA). With Kessel now securely in the fold though, the Leafs do have a core group of forwards locked up long-term, with Clarkson, Bozak, Joffrey Lupul, and James van Riemsdyk all signed until at least the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season. ' ' '
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