WINNIPEG – A busy trip began and then ended with a thud for the sliding Maple Leafs. [url=

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WINNIPEG – A busy trip began and then ended with a thud for the sliding Maple Leafs. Cheapest Yeezy Boost 350 . Toronto was thumped on the fifth game of a grueling seven-day trip, beaten handily by the Jets in Manitoba on Saturday evening. It was the fourth loss on the five-game trip for the Leafs and seventh in the past nine games. All this coming on the heels of a scorching 10-1-1 run that had the club, at one point, pushing Tampa, Montreal and Detroit for a share of the division lead. Toronto now finds itself simply fending off the likes of New York, Florida and Boston for a share of the wild card. “It’s been a terrible trip for our team,” Dion Phaneuf said flatly after the 5-1 loss in Winnipeg. “We did not get near the results that we wanted or that we needed.” The Leafs, who began the trip with a 6-4 loss in Florida, barely had the puck against the Jets. And when they did it was either to turn it over or simply break Winnipeg’s press for a second or two. Toronto entered the night as the third-worst possession team in the league, finishing with an ugly 26 per cent possession mark on Saturday. They spent most of the night under siege and in retreat. Often though the Leafs looked like a team that was simply out of gas. And that’s somewhat understandable given the rigorous nature of a trip that dotted Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Manitoba in a span of seven nights. That doesn’t change, however, the issues which continue to eat at the heart of a struggling club that can neither keep the puck nor keep it out of the net. “There’s a bunch of things that are ailing our hockey club,” head coach Randy Carlyle said after the most recent defeat. His tonic for fatigue was simplicity. “Usually what you try to do is you try to get your structure and you play simple,” Carlyle said of grinding through the fatigue. “You stop in the defensive zone. You don’t get above the puck. You’re always on the defensive side. Our group did none of that tonight.” Mike Santorelli actually opened the scoring, but it wasn’t long before the Jets took over. It was just over a minute later, in fact, that they knotted the score – capitalizing on a giveaway behind the goal – two minutes after that they took the lead for good. Long stints in the defensive zone rightfully found their way into the back of the net. James Reimer was ultimately hammered with 40 shots. “We seemed to have breakdown after breakdown and the next thing you know they’re up 3-1 and the momentum has completely shifted,” Phaneuf said. “Tonight maybe we were a little tired,” said Reimer, “but I don’t really want to give that as an excuse. We’re all professionals and you’ve got to find a way to win these games and play hard and play well.” “I don’t think we’re in the position to use our schedule as an excuse,” added Phaneuf. Carlyle and his club actually entered the night feeling somewhat encouraged. They were coming off a pair of decent performances in Boston and Minnesota, efforts which saw them yield fewer than 30 shots on consecutive nights, controlling possession notably against the Wild. All that was halted in Winnipeg. It won’t get any easier for the Leafs either. Playing without two of their top three centres and a top-six winger for at least another week, they’ll return home for a brief two-game stop before heading right back on the road for a grueling swing through Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose and St. Louis. Those injuries – to Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul and Peter Holland – will test this group even further, though they’re hardly an excuse as the Jets recent performance will attest to. Winnipeg has been playing and playing well without four top defencemen and Evander Kane, their enigmatic but talented young winger. “The proof will be in the pudding of how we play,” Carlyle said before Saturday’s game. Five Points 1. Defence The numbers are particularly ugly defensively for the Leafs during this nine-game run, which has included seven losses and not a whole lot of positives. Toronto has allowed 3.89 goals per game during the two-plus week stretch and an average of 37 shots against. They’ve now given up 40 shots or more in nearly a third of their games this season – 11 times in 40 games or 28 per cent – and now sit 25th overall in goals against (3.02/game), remaining 29th in shots against (34.4). 2. Kessel Ice-Time Prior to Saturday’s game Carlyle disclosed that Phil Kessel recently came to the coaching staff in search of more ice-time. “[He] felt he wasn’t getting into the game enough,” Carlyle said of Kessel. “We’ve made a commitment to try and add a little bit to it, but not quite as much as what we added [Friday] night.” Kessel played a season-high of nearly 26 minutes against the Wild on Friday, but is currently playing the fewest minutes on average of his Leafs career. He entered the Saturday night tilt in Winnipeg playing 18:29 per game, more than two minutes fewer than he garnered last season. Carlyle said it’s not unusual for a player to request more ice-time. 3. Kessel Ice-Time II Kessel has played less and less with each passing month this year. The 27-year-old played 16 minutes or fewer six times in December, averaging less than 18 minutes for the month. Some of that is due to the team’s improved depth, but also to a general performance that’s been lacking noticeably at even-strength. Kessel does lead the Leafs with 22 even-strength points, but his possession rating is amongst the worst on the team. Toronto has been badly outshot when he’s been on the ice. 4. Home Ice A native of Morweena, Manitoba – about two hours north of Winnipeg –Reimer made his fifth career start in his home province on Saturday. He’s not fared well at all in his infrequent returns. Reimer dropped to 1-4-0 at the MTS Centre, compiling a scary .857 save percentage in those five games. He yielded five goals on 40 shots against the Jets on this most recent occasion. 5. Juggling Carlyle began the game against the Jets with revamped line combinations. He plugged Leo Komarov onto a line with Kessel and Tyler Bozak, teaming James van Riemsdyk with Trevor Smith and Mike Santorelli. It was a shot at balance for a team suddenly playing without two key offensive cogs in Kadri and Lupul. “When you’re not having what you think is any balance whatsoever through your lineup then you’ve got to try and find ways to do that,” Carlyle said. “It’s an opportunity for some other people when you have injuries.” Smith was probably the biggest beneficiary, playing a season-high of more than 18 minutes. Greg McKegg, paired with David Clarkson and Richard Panik, also got a deeper look, totaling more than 11 minutes against the Jets. “When things like this happen to hockey clubs that means doors open for other individuals and we like to see how they react in this situation,” Carlyle said. He was notably unimpressed with Komarov, who was playing his third game after a month-long stint on injured reserve. Carlyle said Saturday was probably Komarov’s worst game of the season. The 27-year-old was removed from the top unit midway through the middle period, replaced by van Riemsdyk. Stats-Pack 3.89 – Goals scored against the Leafs on average in the past nine games. 21 – Even-strength shot attempts against Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson on Saturday. .857 – Career save percentage for James Reimer in Winnipeg. 9-10-1 – Leafs record in back-to-back sets this season. 7-8-3 - Leafs record on the road. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-4 Season: 20.1% (11th) PK: 4-5 Season: 82.2% (13th) Quote of the Night “It’s been a terrible trip for our team.” -Dion Phaneuf, on the Leafs five-game road trip. Up Next The Leafs return home to host Washington on Wednesday night. Yeezy 350 Shoes Australia .J. - Trying to learn and absorb the new West Coast offence being installed by new offensive co-ordinator Ben McAdoo, the New York Giants wrapped their final organized team activity Thursday before a three-day mini-camp next week. Authentic Yeezy 350 For Sale .J. -- Rampage Jackson scowled, howled, then bellowed to the crowd: "Im back! Im back!" With rebuilt knees and a new promotion, Jackson might have one more act left in MMA. . -- Josh Smith made a 3-pointer as time expired and finished with 20 points to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 99-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night in both teams exhibition finale.SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez wore an extra ice pack. Theyre usually only wrapped around his shoulder, not his calf as well. Despite getting a little physically beat up, Hernandez had no problem shutting down Houston. Seattles ace struck out nine over eight strong innings for his third straight victory, Willie Bloomquist provided a jolt of offence with his first home run since 2011 and the Mariners beat the Astros 6-1 on Friday night. "A little bruise. Im fine," Hernandez said. "He got me, he got me pretty good." An extra bruise on Hernandezs left calf was the only downside to Seattles fourth win in five games that has the Mariners back above the .500 mark. Hernandez (6-1) allowed only five hits and continued a strong last two weeks on the mound. After going more than a month between victories, Hernandez has rediscovered his form. He has struck out 21 and walked just two over his last three starts. Four of his nine strikeouts against the Astros were looking, a sign that he had command off his fastball. "Everything was working," Hernandez said. "I was throwing a lot of strikes. The game plan was just to throw strikes and use a lot of fastballs." Bloomquist drove in three runs, but the highlight was his two-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole in the sixth. It was his first long ball since Aug. 10, 2011, when Bloomquist was playing for Arizona, a span of 626 at-bats. Bloomquists homer came on the first pitch after Mike Zunino had doubled off the top of the wall, missing a homer by inches. Bloomquist rounded the bases with a wry smile on his face and appeared to be catching plenty of grief in the dugout for the long lapse between homers. His last homer also came against Houston -- when the Astros were still a National League team -- and led off the bottom of the first inning. "Dont even go there," Bloomquist laughed when asked about his last homer. "I dont want to remember, lets put it that way. Had a lot of ground-rule doubles in the meantime. I know its been a while. Thats not my swiing, but Ill take them when they come if they ever come. Cheap Authentic Yeezy 350. " Kyle Seager also drove in three runs with a two-run single in the first and a broken-bat blooper in the seventh. Robinson Cano also had two hits, raising his batting average to .326. The only batter to cause Hernandez fits was Jose Altuve, who improved to 8-for-16 all-time against Seattles ace. Altuve had an RBI single in the third, doubled in the fifth and lined a single off Hernandezs calf in the eighth. Hernandez stayed in and started an inning-ending double play from Dexter Fowler for his final batter. It was the second straight start Hernandez pitched eight innings. "Felix was pretty darn good tonight in a lot of different ways," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Certainly with his pitch count he was very efficient and he fielded the ball with his glove and his leg." Houstons Rudy Owens made his major league debut after getting called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on short notice. The Astros decided to skip Brad Peacocks scheduled start after he experienced soreness in his forearm. Owens struggled through the first inning then settled down. He kept Houston within 3-1 heading into the sixth despite allowing a baserunner in every inning. The game got away from Owens (0-1) in just a couple of pitches. After giving up the double to Zunino, Owens watched Bloomquist hit the first pitch out. Owens was optioned back to Oklahoma City after the game. "We just couldnt muster anything offensively against Felix and that pretty much was the difference in the ballgame," Houston manager Bo Porter said. NOTES: Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder) threw a three-inning simulated game Friday and said he feels ready to go out on a rehab assignment. Walker has not pitched in a game this season. ... Houston OF George Springer was held out of the lineup for second straight day after injuring his hip on Wednesday. ... James Jones extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an infield single in the fourth. ' ' '

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