James van Riemsdyk in the past 11 games. from sfsdaf's blog

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Memphis Grizzlies are making a move in the Western Conference and are doing it on the road. Willie McGinest Jersey . Zach Randolph had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Memphis overcame another strong effort by Kevin Love to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 94-90 Friday night. Courtney Lee added 16 points for the Grizzlies, who have won five straight games and 10 of their last 11. Memphis has won six straight away from home, including a sweep of a three-game trip to Portland, Sacramento and Minnesota. "It feels good, we are still getting to where we want to get," Randolph said. One-half game behind Dallas for eighth place in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies are 13-7 on the road and 12-13 at home. "This is huge for us, especially for the goals we have as far as making that playoff push," Lee said. "It definitely builds momentum." The win could be costly because Memphis played the final 6:37 without starting guard Mike Conley, who sprained his right ankle when he landed on J.J. Bareas foot. Conley had 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting after scoring a combined 46 in his last two outings. He is to be re-evaluated Saturday. "I can put weight on it now," Conley said. "Tomorrow is looking iffy, but hopefully after some treatment tonight and the next day we will go from there." Memphis hosts Milwaukee Saturday. Playing on a sore left ankle throughout the second half, Love led Minnesota with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Kevin Martin had 14 points for the Timberwolves, who lost for just the second time in seven games. "We had our chances in the end and had some really, really great looks. We just didnt convert," Love said. Randolph did. He scored six points during a 9-2 Memphis run that turned a one-point deficit into a 91-85 lead with 59.6 seconds to play and later added two free throws. "Hes the man, hes the go-to player. Hes a proud man, hes an extremely competitive man," said Memphis coach David Joerger. "Think of all the banging those guys take night in and night out, year in and year out. When he got down there and got it done going 11 of 20 with some offensive rebounds, makes big free throws. Im really proud of him, really happy." With Minnesota trailing by one, Love scored on a fadeaway jumper and on a layup after a feed from Barea for an 83-80 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Love hurt his left ankle when he collided with Marc Gasol on a drive with 2 minutes to play in the first half and landed on the foot of another Memphis player, yet gutted it out until halftime. "When I was moving it felt fine and I continued to keep it moving," Love said. "But right now it doesnt feel so good. We just need to do all we can before tomorrow night and hopefully be ready to go." Minnesota is at Atlanta on Saturday. Loves gimping was gone to start the second half much to the dismay of Memphis. With the Timberwolves trailing 59-43 early in the third quarter, Love scored 14 points during an 18-4 run to get them within two. His jumper with 12.8 seconds left in the quarter gave Minnesota its first lead of the game at 67-66. Love outscored the Grizzlies 18-16 in the frame. Ricky Rubio helped lead the comeback in the third with six assists, but did not get off the bench in the fourth as coach Rick Adelman thought Barea "was the best option for us to win." Rubio finished with six points on 2-of-7 shooting. "Its coachs decision and I respect it. He always does what he thinks is best for the team. Of course I wish I could play, but I respect my teammates and my coaches and what he decides," Rubio said. Early on, Memphis took advantage of Minnesota playing its second straight game without bruising centre Nikola Pekovic, who is out indefinitely with bursitis in his right ankle. Memphis had 36 points in the paint in the first half, and finished with 56. Gasol and Lee each had nine points in the first quarter as the Grizzlies shot 63.6 per cent from the field, and had 22 points in the paint in building a 30-22 lead. A putback by Randolph and a two-handed dunk by Ed Davis off a Minnesota turnover increased Memphis lead to 42-28 midway through the second quarter. NOTES: Minnesotas 37 first-half points were a season low. ... Memphis F Mike Miller, who was questionable after spraining his right thumb Wednesday, finished with five points. ... Minnesotas Gorgui Dieng blocked Davis twice in a 58-second span early in second. ... Joerger grew up in Staples, Minn. Tim Rattay Jersey . -- The Los Angeles Clippers chose not to speak publicly about owner Donald Sterling before they faced the Golden State Warriors for Game 4 of their first-round series Sunday. Kevin Faulk Jersey . Ozuna hit Reeds 2-2 pitch off the batters eye far above the 407-foot sign in straightaway centre. It was the fifth blown save in 25 tries for Reed (1-5) and the ninth home run the closer has allowed in 38 appearances. Nuno, acquired in the deal that sent Brandon McCarthy to the New York Yankees, gave up three hits, struck out a career-high seven and walked one in seven innings.NEWARK – The Maple Leafs are teetering on the edge of another late season collapse. Five straight losses (and six in the past seven) now dot the schedule – matching their longest skid of the year – after they fell again in New Jersey on Sunday night, topped 3-2 by Cory Schneider and the Devils. Playoff fortunes that once appeared secure have slipped into a more precarious state with a troubling tumble in the past week. All-too-recently fighting for second spot in the Atlantic division, Toronto has fallen to the edge of the playoffs, now in the second wild card position – mere inches ahead of Washington and Columbus – with only nine games to play. “The bottom line,” said head coach Randy Carlyle after the latest loss, “is its a results-orientated sport and we have to find a way to stop the bleeding here and do everything in our power to regroup with this hockey club and get them playing to a higher level.” If not playing entirely badly these days, the Leafs are doing just enough to lose, be it through sluggish starts, highly visible defensive breakdowns, and ordinary goaltending. On this night they fell behind for the seventh straight game, allowed a pair of goals via odd-man rush and breakaway, and had their backup goaltender struggle again to come up with a timely save. “I dont think were playing that bad,” said Phil Kessel, who scored his 36th of the year in defeat, crashing into the goal-post in doing so. “[But] its a tough stretch Ill tell you that much.” Tough stretch, indeed. It was only 11 days earlier, after James Reimer stole victory in Los Angeles, that the Leafs appeared in prime position for their second straight playoff spring. They sat three points up on the Lightning and Canadiens, 10 on the Capitals, nine on the Red Wings, seven on the Flyers, and six on the Rangers and Blue Jackets. Five of the seven has since passed them over, only Columbus and Washington trailing – just barely, mind you, with games in hand. Its been a remarkable spiral in a very short window, different in that way from the infamous 18-wheeler collapse of 2012 which cost Ron Wilson his job. The Leafs couldnt emerge unscathed from that storm, but can they find a way out of this one? Pressure is building, time is ticking, and the race is kicking into high gear with the Blues, Flyers and Wings all on deck in the coming week. Concern was evident as they exited the visitors dressing room, one by one at Prudential Center, keen to the reality of whats at stake. “We lost five in a row here right so its building here,” said Kessel of the pressure. “Obviously we need some wins.” Five Points 1. The Struggle Continues His confidence all but shattered at this point, Reimer was yanked for the sixth time this season. He yielded three goals on 10 shots, his save percentage in relief of the injured Jonathan Bernier dipping to .889 in six appearances. The 26-year-old has not won a start in more than two months (Jan. 21). Of that sunken confidence, Reimer concurred. “Its never high after a loss obviously and getting pulled,” he said. “[But] as crazy as it sounds I know Im becoming a better goalie and obviously a better person.” Ever the optimist, Reimer explained why. “Its been a ton of adversity in many different forms,” he said. “And so when you can weather it and keep your chin up you just get better.” Appearing in just his fifth NHL game, Drew MacIntyre stopped all 14 shots he faced in place of Reimer. Where that leaves the Leafs crease with St. Louis on deck is unclear. Carlyle didnt know if Bernier (groin) would be available for the Tuesday affair. If hes not for the sixth straight game, its not hard to envision MacIntyre getting his first NHL start. 2. Finger Pointing The Leafs have been a poor defensive team all year, requiring fantastic goaltending most nights from Bernier to have success. Theyve not gotten such heroics in relief with Reimer. His days in Toronto soon to be numbered, Reimer could not fend off an odd-man rush late in the opening frame – Morgan Rielly caught up ice, Nazem Kadri stuck on a bad line change – beaten glove-side by Damien Brunner. Faked out by Patrik Elias when he snuck behind the defence on the second Devils goal, Reimer then yielded a late squeaker that ultimately drove the hook from Carlyle. “We havent helped him out one bit,” said Tyler Bozak, charged in his defence of Reimer. “Obviously its easy to pick on the goalie when things are going bad for a team. But its a team game. We win and lose as a team. We havent been playing near well enough to win games. It hasnt been him at all.” “Usually in this type of playoff atmosphere youve got to find a way to knuckle down and play a tighter brand of defensive hockey,” Carlyle ssaid. Gordy Soltau Jersey. “We seem to be able to give up those opportunities early and then we seem to tighten up as the game goes on.” 3. Season Gone Wrong Just a night before his first game back in New Jersey as a member of the Leafs, David Clarkson barely saw the ice. He played just eight minutes and 54 seconds in the 4-3 loss to Montreal, his lowest total (save for injury) since Nov. 5, 2010. A season gone wrong has seen no signs of let-up for the 29-year-old, who left the Devils last summer for a seven-year deal with the Leafs worth more than $36 million. From suspension to injuries to suspension to struggles to find a role, Clarkson has had few, if any, positives this season. “The way this years gone I could never imagine it,” said Clarkson, before facing his former team. His four goals and 10 points are matched by Dave Bolland, who missed nearly five months with an ankle injury, and Troy Bodie, who has garnered half the ice-time in 13 fewer games. Barring an unforeseeable late season surge, Clarkson would set career-lows in goals, points and shooting percentage (he missed 21 games) – his previous low for points coming in the 2010-11 season when he posted just 18 in 82 games, including only two on the power-play. And if there is one similarity to that year in Jersey to his first in Toronto its the power-play and his opportunity on it. When Clarkson exploded for 45 goals and 70 points in the two seasons which preceded his signing in Toronto he did so in large part because of the power-play. About a third of his production came that way in fact, the Mimico native totaling 14 power-play goals (31 per cent of the total) and 24 power-play points (34 per cent). His ice-time had not surprisingly sky-rocketed from where it had been previously (up to nearly four minutes per game a year ago). This season, that opportunity has tumbled back downward. Buried behind the more skilled likes of Kessel, van Riemsdyk, Bozak, Kadri, Lupul and Raymond, Clarkson has rarely seen the power-play – about 54 minutes total – and thusly has just two points from it. Combine that with a considerable drop in shot attempts and shooting percentage, far less crash and bang and an unending search for a clear-cut role and the season has simply evolved into a nightmare for the former Devil. He played 10 minutes on this night, stuck without a point for the 22nd time in the past 24 games. 4. Falling Behind When Brunner beat Reimer he gave the Devils a 1-0 lead and handed the Leafs their seventh straight deficit to start a game. They fell behind 2-0 for the fifth time in those seven games when Elias snuck by Rielly at the Toronto blue-line before faking out Reimer on the breakaway goal. Sluggish starts continue to be a problem for the Leafs. “Weve been playing from behind a lot lately and just been running out of time I guess you could say,” said Bozak. “Gotta have better starts and try and get a lead early.” The Leafs are now 8-19-4 when they trail after a period and 11-23-4 when their opponent scores first. Bozak and Kessel scored to slice the 3-0 deficit to one, but like their failed comebacks in each of the previous four losses, it was not enough. “Theres no easy way when youre down three on the road to think that youre going to consistently come back in the hockey game,” said Carlyle. 5. JVR Accountability Speaking after the game, James van Riemsdyk made sure to shoulder some of the blame personally for the Leafs failings. Though he had five shots and multiple opportunities on Schneider in a career-high 26 minutes, van Riemsdyk failed to score for the 10th time in the past 11 games. “Its my job to score goals and obviously right now its not good enough,” he said unprovoked on the subject. “Were not winning games, Im not scoring goals, and Ill have to be better.” Stats-Pack 1-6-0 – Leafs record in their past seven games. 7 – Consecutive games in which the Leafs allowed the first goal. 8-19-4 – Leafs record this season when trailing after the first period. 1 – Goal for James van Riemsdyk in the past 11 games. 10:00 – Ice-time for David Clarkson in his first game back to New Jersey. 26:14 – Ice-time for van Riemsdyk, a career-high. 36 – Goals for Phil Kessel, one off matching a career-high. .889 – Save percentage for James Reimer in place of Jonathan Bernier (six appearances). Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-4 Season: 20.8% (T-3rd) PK: 2-2 Season: 78.7% (28th) Quote of the Night “I think everyones just got to relax a little bit and give him some breathing space because we know James is a great goaltender.” - Nazem Kadri, on recent criticism of James Reimer. Up Next The Leafs return home to face one of the leagues top teams with the Blues visiting the ACC on Tuesday. ' ' '

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