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MONTREAL The question was posed to JonathanBernier, perhaps the busiest netminder in the National Hockey League this season and a man who has witnessed the strength of terrific defensive hockey in Los Angeles firsthand en route to a Cup in 2012: Can his Toronto Maple Leafs, currently the top wild card in the East, threaten a deep playoff run without raising their substandard level of defensive play? "Goalies got to be good," Bernier said with an almost uncomfortable laugh.Fake Air Jordan 18. "I personally dont think so," he continued frankly. "Because some games [the goalie] wont get those bounces and [the puck is] going to go in somehow. But we know weve got it in this room. Weve just got to pay the price to play better defensively and, if we do, Im pretty sure we can be one of the top teams in this league." Its an uncomfortable truth for a team that wrung up 11 wins in 14 games before the Olympic break and has designs on making noise in the playoffs after a long-awaited return last spring. This is a hockey club that struggles badly to defend and relies most nights on terrific goaltending and an incredibly potent offence to win. Its a formula that might yield success in the regular season, and it has for the Leafs thus far, but is unlikely to gain much steam when the hockey tightens in mid-April. Head coach Randy Carlyle has been beating the drum loudly on the topic all season, but doesnt have much to show for it. His group remains a work in progress. "Weve been trying and stressing that defensive hockey is whats going to give your team the best chance to qualify for the playoffs," said Carlyle after an instructive practice in Brossard, Quebec. "[But] were in the qualification mode. Were not in the playoff mode [yet]." Only five teams have been worse than the Leafs defensively this season andonly one of those teams, the Ottawa Senators,has any hope of qualifying for the playoffs. Toronto has allowed a bloated three goals per game despite boasting some of the finest goaltending in the league with the 25-year-old Bernier. No team, in fact, puts more pressure on their goaltender to be great than do the Leafs. Only MikeSmith in Phoenix has faced more shots than Bernier thus far and hes started 10 more games than the native of Laval. "I think weve seen it," said Bernier of sturdy defensive play. "I think everyones seen it, but I dont think weve seen it consistently enough." Hurting the effort is a bad penalty kill, one thats allowed the most goals (tied)in the league this season, an unstable defencewhich includesyoung and growing partslike MorganRielly and JakeGardinerand a high-end forward group that has shown only spotty attention to defence. A pile of goals and timely goaltending have been required most nights to win. That was true during an 11-2-1 run before the 18-day Olympic stoppage. Running, then,behind the all-world efforts of PhilKessel, who has been the hottest player on the planet in 2014, the club scored 51 goals 3.64 per game but also allowed 41 on the other end. Theyve won despite being outshot in 36 of 48 games they have a record of 21-10-5 in those gamesanddespite the fact that theyve allowed a league-high of more than 36 shots per game. CodyFranson, second on theback-end in minutes, believes the instability is tied to confusion in the defensive end, too much thinking rather quick instinctual reaction. "I think were still a little indecisive on things sometimes," he said. "We try and play a quite aggressive style of defence and sometimes when you think too much you end up being a half second slow compared to where you should be. That comfort level just isnt quite there with us yet. I think we still think about things too much." They allowed five in their most recent affair against the Islanders on Thursday night, an overtime loss to a struggling club that was without its best player and leading scorer, JohnTavares, and their third leading point-getter in FransNielsen. Two of the goals came by way of short circuiting on the power-play with MichaelGrabner scoring twice shorthanded in a span of 48 seconds on the same power-play. Another found the back of the net via the aforementioned penalty kill with two more coming on defensive breakdowns, including the overtime winner. "Gifts," said Carlyle after the 5-4 defeat. "Ive got no other word to describe the goals that we gave up." A drastic reversal at this late stage in the year seems unlikely, though Carlyle andthe coaching staff continue to push and prod. They did so with any available ice during the Olympic break and continued at practice Friday, narrowing their sights on atighter neutral zone and improved forecheck efforts aimed at spending less time in the defensive zone. But with just 21 games to play, including a division clash with the Canadiens on Saturday, its probably safe to say that this is what these Maple Leafs are. The question now is whether they can, as currently constructed,make a little noisein the postseason (assuming they get in) orwhether their defensiveliabilities will prove too onerous to overcome. Last spring, they nearly toppled a Bruins giant, but required some lightning in a bottle andforgotten brilliancefrom JamesReimer in Games 5 and 6. History points emphatically in the direction of those that can defend. In fact, the last three Stanley Cup winners finished the regular season as either the best or second-best team defensively. And though the Leafs are not yet in the Cup conversation, that remains the goal somewheredown the road. Dave Nonis and the Toronto management team have to be mindful of that fact as it relates to the larger construction of the roster, both now with the Mar. 5 trade deadline looming and over the longer term with the core thats being put into place. Are these the foundations of a club that can eventually win the ultimate prize? "You always see it every year, strong defensive teams win," said JayMcClement. "I think we have the make-up for it. But not without being strong defensively. Obviously, youre not going to win a lot of games 5-4 in the playoffs. We have the goaltending for it and have had it all year. Weve just got to cut down on these mistakes and well be fine. "Were not changing the way we do it, weve just got to do it better."Cheap Fake Jordans. Venus Williams advanced to the ASB Classic final in Auckland on a walkover when fellow American Jamie Hampton withdrew from their semifinal Friday with a right hip injury.Wholesale Fake Jordans. Jacobs scored two in the first end, but Jahr briefly took charge with two in the second end and two more in the third. Jacobs, from Sault. Marie, Ont., gave Canada some breathing room, following his big fourth end by adding two more points in the fifth to go up 7-4.SYDNEY, Australia -- The manager of Olympic swimming great Ian Thorpe says the five-time gold medallist is in rehab after being found disoriented on a Sydney street early Monday morning by police responding to a call from residents. James Erskine told the Australian Associated Press that Thorpe was affected by a combination of antidepressants and the painkillers he was taking for a shoulder injury. Police spoke to Thorpe after residents near his parents home in Panania in Sydneys southwest reported a man allegedly breaking into a van. He was taken to Sydneys Bankstown Hospital for assessment and was later transferred to a rehab facility. "He is in rehab for depression," AAP quoted Erskine as saying. Erskine said Thorpe had thought he was sitting in his friends car. "The owner of the car basically called the police and the police came," he said. "They realized it was Ian Thorpe. They realized he was disoriented." Erskine said Thorpe, 31, had been taking antidepressants and medication for his shoulder but had not been drinking alcohol. "He hadnt had a drink," he said. "He had zero alcohol in him." Police said no official complaint has been made and no further police action is anticipated. Thorpe, who is currently living in Switzerland, has been staying with his parents over Christmas. Erskines admission that Thorpe is in rehab comes only days after Thorpes management company denied reports he checked into a rehab facility while battling depression and alcohol abuse. News Corporation, quoting friends of Thorpe, said he had been injured in a fall at his parents home and was taken to hospital. Reports said Thorpe checked into a rehab faciliity, but later checked out and returned to his parents home.Fake Air Jordan 9. Thorpes management company, SEL, later issued a statement denying the reports. "Ian is not in rehab," a SEL representative said Friday. "Ian was in hospital for an operation on his shoulder and is pleased to let his friends and fans know that he is now out of hospital and on the mend." In his autobiography, published last year, Thorpe said "not even my family is aware that Ive spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression." Thorpe, known to fans as Thorpedo, was a freestyle specialist and one of the greatest swimmers of his generation. He won three gold and two silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics -- the most medals won by any individual competitor at those games -- and two more golds at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He also won 11 world championships gold medals, including six at the 2001 championships at Fukuoka, Japan. When he won his first world championships gold at the age of 14 in Perth in 1998, he was the youngest-ever individual male world champion. At various times Thorpe held 13 individual world records and shared five others in relay events. The 400m freestyle was his signature event which he dominated at Olympics and World championships over more than six years. Thorpe retired from swimming in November, 2006, but attempted a comeback in 2012. His attempt to win a place on the Australian team for the London Olympics was unsuccessful and his thoughts of competing at the 2013 World Championships or 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games were thwarted by a shoulder injury. Friends said he struggled to adjust to life after swimming. ' ' '

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