TORONTO – Phil Kessel plunged his head in his hands like he had so many times in the past. Henri Jokiharju Jersey . These astounding runs of futility have become all too familiar in Toronto. The only question left to determine in that regard this season is whether another such stretch of failure costs the Maple Leafs a spot in the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. Its looking with more and more certainty like that will be indeed the case. Its similar, isnt it, said Kessel, seated in his stall with an air of exasperation. Same stuff keeps happening. I dont know what to make of it anymore. Still astoundingly punch-less offensively (and increasingly losing an edge in goal), the Leafs lost for the 13th time in 16 games (3-13-0) Monday night, clocked by the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference. Toronto has been outscored 59-29 during the month-long unraveling, which started, oddly enough, against these same Hurricanes on Dec. 18. These long losing slides are nothing new. In fact, theyve been happening almost annually. In what became the final days of the Ron Wilson era, the Leafs lost 15 of 17 to tumble out of a playoff spot – Randy Carlyle replacing Wilson along the way as the teams head coach. Last year, it was a 2-12-0 collapse after the Olympic break that did them in. And this year, it may well be a destructive spell in which the club has taken six out of a possible 32 points that ends another postseason bid. The front-man of each and every such unraveling, Kessel couldnt explain why they kept happening. He was as mystified as anyone. I dont know, he said hopelessly after 4-1 loss to Carolina, its been like this for a couple years now, hasnt it? I have no idea. We go through great stretches and then we have these horrendous stretches. Its very frustrating. Truth is, the Leafs are a team that has the power to score at will (at least until recently) but also one that lacks any kind of defensive prowess whatsoever. All of which leads to stunning highs – when the goals come in bunches and the goaltendings great – and dramatically deep lows – when those goals dry up and the goaltending finally crumbles. Momentums a killer, said Nazem Kadri, who became the first Leaf forward to score in more than a week. Once you get on a slide, it seems like other teams are more eager to keep you on that slide. A middle of the road team at full strength, Toronto also hasnt been able to survive injuries to three of its top-nine forwards – Joffrey Lupul, Peter Holland and of late, Leo Komarov all sidelined with injuries – especially when the teams top offensive players and previously potent power play go shockingly cold. Its been an astounding stretch of nothingness in the goal department for a club that all too recently led the entire league in scoring. Their best player and leading scorer, Kessel, hasnt scored in an even-strength situation in more than a month (more on that below). These Leafs nearly became the first team in franchise history to be shut out four times in five games, that place in history avoided when Kadri snapped a personal eight-game slide with a late third period goal. Again getting some great chances, running into some hot goalies, having trouble scoring, he said afterward. With the playoffs looking more like a lost dream again – the Leafs occupy the fourth wild card spot, seven points back of Boston – the focus in Toronto again turns to the roster. With the coach already dismissed, the time will come soon for Brendan Shanahan and the Leafs front office to determine what to do with a flawed roster and when to do it. The trade deadline sits six weeks away on March 2nd. I think weve underperformed, said Dion Phaneuf, noting how familiar the questions and his answers all seemed. But that doesnt change my stance on me believing in our group. We have underperformed. And were at where were at right now and theres no one thats going to get us out of it but us. Five Points 1. No Offence The list of players who have more even-strength goals than Phil Kessel during this 16-game stretch of futility include Roman Polak, Trevor Smith, David Clarkson and Dion Phaneuf. Kessel hasnt scored a goal at even-strength since Dec. 16 when the Leafs scored six to beat the Ducks in the final game of a 10-1-1 run. Offensive Woes Since Dec. 18 Player Even-Strength Goals Nazem Kadri 2 Joffrey Lupul 2 James van Riemsdyk 2 Daniel Winnik 2 Mike Santorelli 2 Roman Polak 2 Seven Other Players 1 Phil Kessel 0 2. Berniers Dip Lost in those offensive woes has been the lingering dip of Jonathan Bernier, who was pulled after the Hurricanes third goal on Monday night. Bernier, who becomes a restricted free agent this summer, is sporting a mediocre .891 save percentage in his last 10 starts. Berniers Woes Month Save Percentage October .917 November .917 December .925 January .877 3. Run-and-Gun? Peter Horachek said he had no intention of letting his team return to the flawed ways of its all too recent past. The days of running and gunning, from his perspective, are over. No, I dont think any of the top teams, any of the good teams in the league play that way, said Horachek, his voice lacking its usual punch. If you want to start something, if you want to get a mindset of playing a certain way, you have to play hard defence and attack the net in the other end. When you play defence, it doesnt mean you dont play offence. Offence is right there. Nothing changes with the offence, its just that youre competing harder in other areas and youre playing a certain way. Horachek felt his team was cheating for offence early against Carolina, leading to some glorious opportunities for the visitors and a pair of goals in a flat first frame. The Leafs have lost six of seven games under his direction, scoring just seven goals total in that span – five coming in the lone win over Columbus. 4. No Value Added David Clarksons second season as a Leaf has been slightly better than the first, but not by much and not anywhere near enough to justify the enormous contract Toronto handed him in the summer of 2013 – which has five more years left. Clarkson has just one goal now in the past 21 games, one power play point all season, a non-factor most nights in about 14 minutes of ice-time. Horachek said hes had plenty of talks with the 29-year-old and wants him to get back being a driving physical player thats going to get to the front of the net. When he scored his goals in New Jersey, he scored them by being around that net, said Horachek. He needs to start using that and get back to a simplified game, continue to be physical and not get himself off from a different type of player than he is. Clarkson fought for the second time this season against the Hurricanes, battling Brad Malone. He played less than 12 minutes. 5. Lighter Load Late in the 2014 calendar, the Leafs made a subtle adjustment to their defence. They eased the minutes of the struggling Jake Gardiner, bumping him out of their top-four and into lighter duties on a third pairing – either with Korbinian Holzer or Stephane Robidas. The tweak has been fortuitous for the 24-year-old, who holds a strong 54 per cent possession mark since the change was made at the end of December (entering Mondays game). I feel pretty confident, said Gardiner. I think Im making plays and playing pretty solid. My stats arent really showing it, but yeah I feel better. Gardiner owned a 45 per cent possession prior to the switch – Morgan Rielly moved up in the lineup in his place – struggling against the second lines he and Roman Polak were tasked with facing. With easier matchups and less ice-time – under 19 minutes per game in January – Gardiner is moving in an upward direction after a poor first half of the season. Im just trying to make more confident plays, he said. Stats Pack 11 – Goals for the Leafs in the past nine games. 3-13-0 – Leafs record in the past 16 games. 3-25 – Leafs power play in the past seven games. 27 – Number of Leaf games decided by three goals or more, most in the league. 0 – Even-strength goals for Phil Kessel in the past month. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-4 Season: 19.4% (13th) PK: 3-3 Season: 82.9% (11th) Quote of the Night I dont how that happens, what security or the ushers are doing. It seems like were giving the guy an extra couple minutes to flip everybody off and to mock our real fans. I dont know how that guys not taken by his shirt and dragged out of there, but what do I know? - Nazem Kadri, letting his frustrations speak on the subject of jerseys again being tossed on the ice by a handful of fans Wednesday night. Up Next The Leafs play in Ottawa Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star break. Michal Kempny Jersey . -- The taxing preseason, which included two games in China, is finally over. Denis Savard Jersey . They actually finished with a better record in ‘07 than they did in ‘06 but only marginally, going from 61 victories to 66. http://www.officialblackhawksauthority.com/lance-bouma-blackhawks-jersey-c-51/ .com) - The Golden State Warriors have started another winning streak and theyll try to pad it Tuesday night when they head to Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Lakers.LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Zach Johnson asked his short-iron approach on the par-4 18th to "Do something right, baby." It did. With just a hint of a draw, Johnsons shot landed to the right of the right-side pin and spun to 2 feet to set up a birdie Thursday that left him two strokes behind first-round leader Patrick Reed in the Humana Challenge. Thriving on great driving, even better wedge play and putting, Johnson has three worldwide wins in his last seven starts. He began the run in the BMW Championship in September, and beat Tiger Woods in a playoff in December in the World Challenge after holing a wedge for par on the final hole of regulation. Johnson followed that with a victory two weeks ago in Kapalua. "I dont think Im the best," Johnson said when asked if hes the best wedge player. He pointed to Ryder Cup teammate Steve Stricker. "Hes the first one that comes to my mind," Johnson said. "Phenomenal wedge player. ... But my wedges are clean. ... Ive worked on it a lot. Ive worked on it in a number of different ways, but the main way is really just trying to dial in yardages and trajectories." Johnson finished with a 7-under 65, hitting all 14 fairways at La Quinta Country Club -- the most-demanding driving layout in the three-course event. He hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation and had 27 putts in his bogey-free round. "The greens over there are, I dont even know how to explain them, its like carpet," Johnson said. "I mean, theyre just so good. I dont know what they do over there, but they look artificial. Theyre like this every year, but theyre as good as Ive ever seen." Johnson has 11 PGA Tour victories. Dating to his rookie season in 2004, only Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have more. "It means that Im doing something right," said Johnson, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 6. Reed had a 9-under 63 in perfect scoring and weather conditions. He ran off five straight birdies in the middle of his bogey-free round on PGA Wests Arnold Palmer Private Course and tied his career low. "The course is in perfect shape," said Reed, the Wyndham Championship winner in August. "The rough isnt very high, the fairways are perfect and the greens are rolling very true." Reed started on the back nine and birdied Nos. 16-18 and 1-2 to get to 7-under. He added birdies on Nos. 6 and 7. "I started ouut a little struggling with the driver, had some lefts in it, but luckily I missed it in the right spots," Reed said. Steve Larmer Jersey. "I was really confident with my irons, kept hitting greens and all of a sudden, 10-, 12-, 15-, 20-foot putts started going in." With wife Justine pregnant with their first child, her brother, Kessler Karain, is subbing as Reeds caddie. Justine has walked every hole with her husband this year and plans to rejoin him inside the ropes after the baby girl arrives. The due date is Memorial Day. "We cant wait for that," Reed said. "Im excited to be a dad." Ryan Palmer, Justin Hicks, Daniel Summerhays and Charley Hoffman shot 64. Palmer birdied his final six holes and nine of his last 12 on the Palmer course, the site of the final round Sunday. "I wasnt making a whole lot of long putts, just hitting it close," Palmer said. Hicks had an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey on the Jack Nicklaus Private Course. "Just trying to give myself as many opportunities as I can," Hicks said. Hoffman, the 2007 winner, had an eagle and six birdies at La Quinta. "I love this golf course," Hoffman said. "I think this is probably one of the better tracks we play all year when its said and done." Summerhays birdied seven of his last 10 on the Nicklaus course. "Its fun to make birdies," Summerhays said. "Thats one of the fun things about this tournament is that the courses are a little easier. Theyre in perfect shape, which makes them almost even easier." With a high temperature in the mid-80s and only a gentle morning breeze off the Santa Rosa Mountains, the players averaged 69.692 on the Palmer course, 69.431 on the Nicklaus layout, and 70.192 at La Quinta. Ottawas Brad Fritsch carded a 67 at the Palmer course. David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., also on Palmer, had a 68. Calgarys Stephen Ames and Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., each shot a 73 on the Palmer course. Keegan Bradley opened with a 69 at La Quinta in his first start of the year. Hes fighting a cold and struggled with his distance control and accuracy. "Im still a little tired. Getting better every day," said Bradley, paired with Johnson the first three days. "Im happy with todays round for the first round of the year." Defending champion Brian Gay also had a 69 at La Quinta. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '