Shake Milton who tied an NBA record for most consecutive triples made with 13 on his way to a career-high 39 points, but it was not enough as the Sixers fell to the Clippers on Sunday 136-130.
LeBron James doesn’t know Ja Morant personally but his two sons are sure familiar with him.LeBron James recalled how a rookie referred to his wife as ‘Auntie’ — The Rookie Wire.
California could indeed be the Land of Milk and Honey for the Maple Leafs.
Rarely have the state’s three NHL teams been this bad simultaneously, a combined 38 games under .500 before Sunday and well out of playoff contention. Now, here come the Leafs this week into the Pacific theatre, on a three-game win streak and looking to bolster their current five-point lead as third seed in the Atlantic Division.
But these are the mercurial Leafs were talking about, a team that has seemed safely on its way up many times this season only to veer badly off course. And there are rarely gimmies in the NHL, never mind expecting three in four nights. San Jose, the first stop on Tuesday, just shut out Pittsburgh 5-0.
“We have to win our games there,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It will be important for us to take this week (after beating playoff contenders Tampa Bay, Florida and Vancouver), feel good about it. We’re going against teams that when you look at the standings you think there’s real opportunity there for us. But we’ve been watching those teams, they’re playing good hockey and beating good teams.
“We’ve done pretty well on the road (a record of 18-14-1) and the sun seems to work in our favour.”
The Leafs under predecessor Mike Babcock also did well in California last year, sweeping all three, but that had only happened one other time for Toronto since San Jose and Anaheim joined Los Angeles in that NHL market in the 1990s. There’s a Kings-Ducks back-to-back later this week to complete the Leafs trip with Kyle Clifford and Jack Campbell returning to L.A. for the first time since last month’s trade. Keefe could let Campbell start in goal against his old team and have Frederik Andersen against his former Anaheim club the next night.
Thankfully for team morale, falling further in the rearview mirror is last Saturday’s loss to Carolina and 42-year-old fill-in goalie David Ayres.
“I’ve learned just what we’re capable of when we’re going about it properly with our preparation, habits and work ethic,” said Keefe of what has ensued since that stinging defeat. “We weren’t as sharp (against Vancouver) as we were on the road but, once again, it was finding our way through it and we stayed with it.”
Defenceman Cody Ceci will be on this trip to continue working through his ankle injury. He should be the first of three injured rearguards along with Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin to return.
Meanwhile, Tyson Barrie, Travis Dermott and even Martin Marincin showed enough offensive chops on Saturday to take the focus off the club’s defensive concerns.
“We know what we have to do to have the rest of the season (16 games) go the way we want,” said Dermott. “We’re getting on the right track now, we have some momentum, we just have to ride it. We’re heading into grind time, we’ll try and get three wins and see where it goes from there.”
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A Dave Keon scoring record, no matter if the goaltender is absent, rarely gets matched.
But Zach Hyman — “the Sidney Crosby of 6-on-5” as Auston Matthews calls him — is set to pass one mark that the player voted best Maple Leaf in the first hundred years of the franchise had held since 1975.
When Hyman charged down the ice Saturday against Vancouver and buried his 12th career empty-netter, he tied Keon.
“That’s crazy, pretty cool,” said Hyman. “That’s a huge honour. Any time you get a chance to be mentioned in the same breath as Keon is pretty special.”
Hyman has played 298 Leafs games to Keon’s 1,062.
“They must have not pulled the goalie too much back then,” figured Hyman.
True, it’s done with far more frequency in the 21st century, much earlier in games and sometimes the goalie remains out after one empty-netter has been potted.
But that regular 20-goal scorer Hyman is always trusted to be out in the late stages to defend a lead puts him in position for such freebies. And rarely does Hyman fire wildly from long range to risk icings, staying in full checker mode and usually carrying the puck the whole distance to make sure it’s buried as he did Saturday.
“I don’t think about (the record) too much, I just take pride in it because that’s what seals the game 99.9% of the time,” Hyman said. “I’m happy that it results in a win.”
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The presence of Frederik Gauthier and Martin Marincin on the roster is often cited as reasons the Maple Leafs aren’t to be taken seriously as playoff contenders. Read MoreUnlikely combo of Marincin, Gauthier lifts Leafs over Canucks — Toronto Sun
Walk into a locker room after a tough loss and one can often learn a lot about a team simply by keeping one’s eyes open. Friday night was one of those times. It was clear as soon as the room was open to the media that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was taking this one rather hard and […]Raptor vets know exactly what to say and when to pick up teammates — Toronto Sun
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots ahead of Memphis Grizzlies guards Yuta Watanabe (18) and Dillon Brooks (24) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game…Lakers look sluggish in loss to Ja Morant, Grizzlies — Press Telegram
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2020
Toronto: P. Aberg (18) (J. Duszak, T. Kivihalme), P. Aberg (19) K. Gravel, M. Kapla), R. Woods (1) (K. Rubins, M. Hollowell), K. Gravel (1) (E. Korshkov, T. MacMaster)
Goaltender: P. Gahagen (26/31)
Binghamton: M. Maltsev (10) (C. Conner, F. Zetterlund), N. Bastian (13) SH (B. Street, J. Melchiori), J. Kuokkanen (13) (C. Conner, E. Sharangovich), B. Street (14) PP (B. Seney, C. White), C. Conner (12) (J. Kuokkanen, E. Sharangovich)
Goaltender: G. Senn (24/28)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Pontus Aberg opened the scoring at 1:37 of the first period and scored Toronto’s second goal at 5:01 of the second period. He has 14 multi-point games this season. Aberg has 50 points (19 goals, 23 assists) through 50 games.
- Riley Woods scored Toronto’s third goal at 14:47 of the second period. This was his first career AHL goal. Woods has 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) in 43 games with Newfoundland (ECHL) this season.
- Kevin Gravel scored Toronto’s fourth goal at 5:24 of the third period and earlier had the primary assist on Aberg’s second period goal. This was Gravel’s first goal for the Marlies. Gravel has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 18 games with the Marlies.
- Joseph Duszak recorded the primary assist on Aberg’s first period goal. Duszak has 14 points (2 goals, 12 assists) in his last 12 games.
- Teemu Kivihalme registered the secondary assist on Aberg’s first period goal. Kivihalme has 16 points (3 goals, 13 assists) in 50 games this season.
- Michael Kapla picked up the secondary assist on Aberg’s second period goal.
- Kristians Rubins recorded the primary assist on Woods’ second period goal. Rubins has 14 points (2 goals, 12 assists) in 43 games.
- Mac Hollowell registered the secondary assist on Woods’ second period goal. He has 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) in 28 games.
- Egor Korshkov had the primary assist on Gravel’s third period goal. Korshkov has 24 points (15 goals, 9 assists) in 39 games this season.
- Tanner MacMaster collected the secondary assist on Gravel’s third period goal. MacMaster has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last three games.
- Parker Gahagen stopped 26 of 31 shots he faced in his first start for the Toronto Marlies. Gahagen is now 0-1-0-0 on the season with a .839 save percentage and a 5.16 goals against average.
- Toronto has played on February 29 twice (4-2 win vs Hamilton, 2011-12, 2-1 overtime win vs Syracuse, 2007-08).
- Toronto was 2-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-4 on the power play.
- Binghamton had a 31-28 edge in shots in all situations. Kevin Gravel led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 15-16-3-1 against North Division opponents and 0-3-1-0 against the Binghamton Devils.
REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
- Goals: K. Agostino (24)
- Assists: J. Bracco (30)
- Points: K. Agostino (44)
- PPG: K. Agostino,N. Petan (6)
- Shots: P. Aberg (133)
- +/-: M. Salomaki (+14)
- PIMS: G. Wilson (71)
- Toronto is 19-7-2-2 when scoring first.
- The Marlies are 7-10-0-0 when tied after the first period and 6-6-0-1 when tied after the second period.
- Toronto is 18-14-1-2 when outshot by their opponents.
- The Marlies are 10-7-2-2 in Saturday games and are 5-8-0-0 in February.
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
- Joseph Duszak has points (1-1-2) in consecutive games.
- Mac Hollowell has assists (3) in three consecutive games.
- Egor Korshkov has points (1-1-2) in consecutive games.
- Adam Brooks (concussion) did not dress for tonight’s game against Utica. He left Toronto’s game against Belleville on February 15 and did not return.
- Kasimir Kaskisuo (hand) did not dress for tonight’s game against Utica.
- Kalle Kossila (migraines) did not dress for tonight’s game against Utica.
- Jesper Lindgren (high ankle sprain)did not dress for today’s game against Cleveland. Heleft Toronto’s game against Cleveland on January 24 in the third period and did not return.
- Nic Petan (shoulder) did not dress for today’s game against Cleveland. He left Toronto’s game against Rochester on February 8 and did not return.
- February 27: Recalled defenceman Sergei Sapego from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
- February 26: Recalled defenceman Calle Rosen from loan by Toronto (NHL).
- February 25: Loaned defenceman Miles Gendron to Newfoundland (ECHL).
- February 25: Loaned forward Matt Lorito from Toronto (NHL).
- February 24: Traded forward Nick Baptiste to Belleville (AHL).
- February 24: Recalled goaltender Parker Gahagen from Newfoundland (ECHL).
HEAD COACH GREG MOORE
On tonight’s game:
It was a frustrating hockey game. The guys competed the whole game. Based off of the things that we talked about and wanted them to execute, it was there. We got a lot of good looks but obviously, at this juncture of the season, we just need the points.
On whether the team had control of the game:
There were moments of the first and second where we controlled the game and most of the third. To not come out with the results that we needed is frustrating. The guys definitely stepped up today and it was a good response from last game.
On playing as a cohesive unit:
Everybody was bought into the game plan and today, we had more of an effort of making plays, possessing the puck through the middle but looking for our teammates. It wasn’t trying to go one-on-one and be individual. We were using all five guys on the ice and when you let the puck do the movement and we work off of each other and we support each other, the puck can move faster than one guy skating up the rink. That was there today and that was why we had better success.
March 2 at Texas – 7:00 p.m. CT
March 4 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m. ET
March 6 vs Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
March 7 vs Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
March 11 at Bridgeport – 7:00 p.m. ET
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On contributions from all lines and D pairings tonight:
Well, the depth guys today did a great job for us. Not only providing offence but they gave us good shifts, worked hard, carried play for us, for the most part, when they were out there. We’re asking a lot of our defence — all our defence that are out there — we’re asking a lot of them to play different roles than they have all season for most of them. Guys did a good job. Marty [Marincin] did a good job all game, and yet had a tough stretch to end the second period there and he got quite tired. I believe his minutes were reaching a minute for [that shift]. He regrouped and made a big-time play there. I’ve come to only expect highlight reels from Marty with the Marlies. Every time he scored it was a memorable goal.
On what he has learned about the group over the last week:
I think just we’re working. We look like what we’re capable of when we’re going about it properly in terms of our preparation and our habits and our work ethic, competitiveness. And, frankly, I thought today we weren’t at the same level we were at on the road. The game was just different. I just thought we weren’t as sharp as we were on the road, so I didn’t love that, obviously. But, just once again, just responding to that first period and finding our way through all the ups and downs of it and then the game settles down and we stayed with it. We didn’t generate nearly as much offence as I thought we were capable of and would have liked to. We got enough to win the game. Not a perfect game defensively by any means, but volume of shots and activity at our net with our defence the way that it is and what we’re asking everybody to do. I think we did a nice job with everybody stepping up and it’s been a collective effort.
On the importance of trying to expand the gap on Florida in the standings this week:
We’ve got to win our games. That’s really all we can focus on thus all we need to take care of. It’s going to be important for us here to take this week, we feel good about it, now we’ve got a little bit of time here before we get going and play on Tuesday and we’re going to travel out there. We’re going to play against teams when you look at the standings that you’re going to think that there’s real opportunity there for us. But we’ve been watching those teams and looking at it. They’ve been playing good hockey and they’ve beaten good teams, those teams out there. It’s going to be competitive games. They’re important games for us, nonetheless. We’ve done pretty well on the road. Obviously, this week we did really well on the road. The sun worked in our favour so hopefully that will continue.
On the connection between the loss last Saturday to Carolina and the three-game win streak:
Well I think the only real connection, obviously, is there’s a real shock to the system when you have a night like that, right? You really get everyone’s attention. So that’s really what I would say. I think — it’s funny how you want to look at it, right? If you look at a six-game sample there, we had three games that were pretty messy. Or you look at a [five] game sample and four out of the five that we’ve played here — the Pittsburgh game on home ice, two road games and tonight. The connection is just we got a wakeup call. When we ended on the road, we got the guys attention on the importance of getting your stuff together, responding well. It’s going to be tough the rest of the way, all the way through, and we can’t have any lapses.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (25 SAVES)
On what has led to the team’s lower event defensive efforts in recent games:
I think we really bought in to the way we want to play, and I think guys are doing a great job of selecting shots, especially down the end and obviously leading to some good goals. Just chill the game and I think we’ve been playing really tight as a group, so the resiliency has been great.
On bouncing back after allowing a couple of goals early:
Yeah, you said it. Just regroup and focus on what’s next. It doesn’t matter what’s happened, you can’t do anything about it early, but the most important thing is to focus on what’s next and that’s the next shot so all I can focus on.
ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL)
On the three-game win streak:
Yeah, they’re not perfect games, for sure, but they are all wins, and they are all games where we’re playing against really good opponents and we have to battle in them and really earn our wins. So three huge games for us and it’s big.
On what he’s liked most from his team in the last three games:
I think everyone is contributing. I think that’s been awesome. Great for [Marincin] to get the game winner — what a goal, right? That really gets the bench alive and that was awesome. Obviously, we’re short on staff on the back on D but all those guys are stepping up and playing great. It was three great wins.
MARTIN MARINCIN (GAME-WINNING GOAL)
On his goal:
I just got a great pass by [Tavares] and the ice was open. I had good speed, so I felt like it was going to be a good shot and I was going to try. It goes in.
On his reaction to the goal:
I was so, so happy. It’s my first goal this season. I was excited for that and that goal made it 3-2 for us. Really good goal in the third period, that was good for the team, I think. I was excited.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)
On a full team effort tonight:
It’s great, obviously love to see when you’ve got multiple lines with all guys contributing. Awesome to see Marv’s goal, it was unbelievable, so I think everyone was pretty excited after that one.
On if he’d seen Marincin score a goal like that before:
I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it before; you don’t see it often from old Marv but when he brings it out it’s usually a treat. It was pretty fun to watch.
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (34-24-6 – 74 Points) vs.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (35-23-8 – 78 Points)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2020.
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Frederik Gauthier put the Maple Leafs on the board at 2:45 of the first period. Gauthier has two points (1-1-2) over his last three games. He has 12 points (7-5-12) in 57 games this season. He has scored six of his seven goals on home ice.
- Auston Matthews scored the second Toronto goal of the night at 6:25 of the first period. Matthews has goals (2) in two consecutive games and points (2-2-4) in three consecutive games. He has two goals in two games against the Canucks this season. In 33 games on home ice this season, he has recorded 31 goals and 17 assists.
- Martin Marincin scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the game at 0:18 of the third period. Marincin has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games. He has three points (1-2-3) in 23 games this season.
- Zach Hyman scored the fourth Toronto goal of the night into an empty net at 18:06 of the third period. Hyman has goals (2) and points (2-1-3) in two consecutive games. His goal was his 23rd of the season, tying his career-high for goals in a season set in 2018-19. He has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 21 games played on home ice.
- Tyson Barrie recorded the primary assist on Gauthier’s first period goal and later had the secondary assist on Marincin’s third period goal. Barrie has six assists over his last four games played. Tonight’s game is his eighth multi-assist and 12th multi-point game of the season. He has recorded 21 of his 34 assists on home ice this season.
- Rasmus Sandin had the secondary assist on Gauthier’s first period goal. Sandin has eight points (1-7-8) in 26 games this season. He has recorded five of his seven assists on home ice.
- Travis Dermott had the lone assist on Matthews’ first period goal and later had the secondary assist on Hyman’s empty net goal. Dermott has recorded 11 points (4-7-11) in 52 games this season. Tonight’s game is his first multi-assist and first multi-point game of the season. He has four assists in four career games against Vancouver.
- John Tavares registered the primary assist on Marincin’s third period goal. Tavares has assists (2) in two consecutive games and points (3-4-7) in five consecutive games. He has recorded two goals and two assists in two games against the Canucks in 2019-20.
- Mitch Marner recorded the primary assist on Hyman’s empty net goal. Marner has assists (3) in three consecutive games. He is tied for ninth in the NHL in assists (49). His 31 primary assists rank eighth among NHLers.
- Frederik Andersen stopped 25 shots to earn his 28th win of the season.
SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)
|VANCOUVER||7 (6)||7 (6)||13 (10)||–||27 (22)|
|TORONTO||9 (6)||10 (8)||11 (7)||–||30 (21)|
SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)
|VANCOUVER||18 (17)||17 (15)||27 (18)||–||62 (50)|
|TORONTO||18 (14)||20 (17)||19 (14)||–||57 (45)|
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
|Record at Home||17-9-7 (33 Games)|
|All-Time Record vs. Vancouver||61-62-22-3 (148 Games)|
|All-Time Record vs. Vancouver at Home||35-25-11-1 (72 Games)|
|Record vs. Western Conference||16-8-2 (26 Games)|
|Record vs. Pacific Division||9-3-1 (13 Games)|
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
|Shot Attempts||10 (Matthews)|
|Faceoff Wins||15 (Tavares)|
|Faceoff Win Percentage||64% (Spezza – 9 won, 5 lost)|
|Blocked Shots||6 (Marincin)|
|Power Play TOI||5:37 (Barrie)|
|Shorthanded TOI||3:22 (Holl)|
|5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage||66.7% (Rosen – 14 for, 7 against)|
|Tied after 1||16-6-4|
|Tied after 2||8-5-2|
|Do not score a power play goal||15-14-4|
|Do not allow a power play goal||21-8-4|
- The Maple Leafs went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 0-for-4 on the power play tonight.
- Travis Dermott started 12.5 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which was the lowest mark among Toronto skaters.
- Justin Holl was on the ice for a team-high 17 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Holl finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 51.5 (17 for, 15 against).
- John Tavares won 75 percent (6 won, 2 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs. He was 9-for-14 (64%) in the faceoff circle when matched up against Vancouver centre Bo Horvat.
- Tuesday, March 3, 10:30 p.m. at San Jose Sharks (Sportsnet Ontario, FAN 590)
- Thursday, March 5, 10:30 p.m. at Los Angeles Kings (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050
- Friday, March 6, 10:00 p.m. at Anaheim Ducks (TSN4, TSN 1050)
- Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (TSN4, TSN 1050)
- Thursday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. vs. Nashville Predators (TSN4, TSN 1050)