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lebaobei123 Offline

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10.06.2019 06:33
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TORONTO -- James Reimer thinks about a lot of things. The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender had a premonition and told his wife hed play in Thursday nights game against the Boston Bruins. And he did, replacing the injured Jonathan Bernier. Before that, Reimer considered the possibility that he had played his final game with the Leafs after being in goal for five straight losses before Berniers return from a groin problem. Now that Bernier is lost for the rest of the regular season -- a minimum of three weeks -- with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Reimer doesnt have to think about riding out the rest of his time in Toronto on the bench. His new challenge is trying to rebound from one of the worst stretches in his career lead the Leafs to the playoffs. "Ive had a lot of success in the past and had to carry the load in different scenarios, and Ive been successful in that," Reimer said Friday. "Youre a competitor and you love the challenges, especially maybe sometimes when the odds are against you. You just go out there and play your heart out and kind of hope that its going to be enough." Even with his best efforts, it might not be enough. With four games left, Reimer and the Leafs have 84 points, one back of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who lost to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Columbus has one extra game left, meaning Toronto likely has to win out and hope to get some help, too. The first task at hand comes Saturday night at Air Canada Centre against the Winnipeg Jets. Thats all Reimer, a native of Morweena, Man., is worried about. "The main thing is its not four games in a row," Reimer said. "As a goalie, you cant see it like that. You cant even win 60 minutes. Its about the first five minutes, the first minute, the first shot." Reimer did give up a goal on the first shot he faced Jan. 20 against Tampa Bay, and one within the games first six minutes twice more during a run of five straight regulation losses. The 26-year-old, who allowed 18 goals on 139 shots in that time, was made a scapegoat for the Leafs struggles. That did not sit well with centre Nazem Kadri. "It seems like when the team does not do well, hes the first guy that everyone hops all over, which really that shouldnt be the case," Kadri said Thursday night. "At that point when we were losing, the team in front of him just couldnt bring it together and just couldnt figure things out, and obviously the goalies left out there to dry by himself. We felt bad, and now its about time we have his back and step up to the plate." Itll take more than just Reimer to roll off four more wins, against the Jets in the home finale and then at the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators. But hes undoubtedly at the forefront now and said hell try to do his part. Reimer pointed to Thursday nights 4-3 overtime victory against the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins as evidence of his belief in why the Leafs can do the improbable and make the playoffs. "Maybe sometimes its not the prettiest, but we find ways to win," he said. "We pull together and we lean on each other and thats what it takes. With four games to go, no ones going to ask how we get points, just as long as we get them. I believe fully in this team that weve got what it takes." If Reimer can recapture past form that made him the Leafs starter -- and a good one at that -- hed have a chance to redeem himself and his team for last months losing. Hed also likely make a good case to another NHL team that hes capable of being a No. 1 goaltender somewhere. Saturday, against a Winnipeg team that has had its share of troubles in goal, could be the start of that audition. Reimer cant help but think about the future and what it holds for his career, but thats not at the forefront of his mind. "Honestly right now theres lots of thoughts swirling in your head about a lot of things," he said. "But now its just time to stop the puck. It doesnt really matter what transpires after the season or all that white noise, per se. All Im trying to do is just play my best and get those two points tomorrow and then go on to Florida. I try not to think about all this other stuff." From a team perspective, Berniers injury -- which happened in the third period when defenceman Paul Ranger pushed Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron into the goalie -- just adds to the adversity. "All the time in the NHL youre always provided with challenges through the course of the season, and this is just another one," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Our group has to continue to play to a higher level than we did in the last one. Thats what were going to ask of ourselves." In the process, the Leafs are asking Reimer to be stable and dependable. Beyond that, he doesnt want to put excess pressure on himself with the season on the line. "Obviously its a big game and some people might say its a must-win game and stuff, but when you start putting too much pressure on yourself, you cant perform," Reimer said. "Its a big game and we know whats at stake, but you cant really think about that. Youre just thinking about your own game and what you need to do to be successful." NOTES -- Joffrey Lupul is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, according to Carlyle, who said Thursday night the winger was doubtful to play against Winnipeg. ... Forwards Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Dave Bolland did not practise Friday because they were given so-called "maintenance" days off. Jesper Bratt Jersey . -- Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has a broken bone below his right eye after being struck by a bad-hop grounder, sidelining the star slugger for at least a week with opening day on deck. Scott Stevens Jersey . After falling 5-0 on home ice in a game that could have tied them for second in the wild card standings, Washington head coach Adam Oates had some strong words for Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin. Adam Lind provided the power and rookie starter Marcus Stroman had the best start of his young career as the Blue Jays dumped the Yankees 8-3 at Rogers Centre. Stroman, making his fifth start for Toronto, allowed one earned run and three hits over a career-high eight innings. Pavel Zacha Jersey . Each day, provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat. Duck Calling With several marquee centres available via trade and expected to be available via free agency, the Anaheim Ducks could be primed to be big players in the coming days. Cory Schneider Jersey . -- The road to the Masters got off to a bumpy start Sunday for Tiger Woods when he withdrew from the Honda Classic with what he said was a lower back injury.COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil -- Michel Platini says FIFAs choice of World Cup draw procedure was not his idea, despite it favouring his native France. Platini told reporters he offered to leave the room Monday during talks about a "FIFA administration" proposal. A lottery will now decide which unseeded European team goes into Pot 2 -- sure to face two high-ranked opponents from Europe and South America. France, the loweest-ranked European qualifier, was the expected automatic choice because of a 2006 World Cup precedent.dddddddddddd On Tuesday FIFA said all nine unseeded Europeans would be in the lottery which opens the draw ceremony Friday. FIFA vice-president Platini says: "I am not the only Frenchman in FIFA." A Netherlands federation official said its lawyers had checked whether the FIFA decision was allowed. 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