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ANAHEIM – It was about the moment Randy Carlyle felt his team slipping. His Maple Leafs beat the Ducks on a mid-December night in a manner that had become the worrying custom during his nearly three-season rule: Torontos potent offence pumped six past Frederik Andersen and Jonathan Bernier stopped 40 of 42 shots. The process was wrong, but the result right in what was a sixth straight win and the final bullet in an all too misleading 10-1-1 run. One month later with Carlyle since fired (his concerns proving prescient) and the Leafs are beginning to get that process right, but not yet finding those results. Luck is suddenly churning against the luckiest of teams. Its funny we were just talking about that, Daniel Winnik said after a 4-0 loss in Anaheim, how we used to give up 40 shots and wed win games and now were holding teams to under 25 and were losing. It was the third loss in four games since the coaching change – which saw Peter Horachek gain control – and 10th in the past 13 overall for the Leafs. It was also the second time in as many nights in Southern California that a usually powerful offence was shut out. Unlike that earlier win over Anaheim though – in which Berniers brilliance prevailed – the Leafs actually played fine in this most recent test against a beast of the West, but they couldnt beat Andersen and were undone by a couple bad breaks and the ferocity of Corey Perry. They continue to play in a manner thats conducive to long-term success, even if the results arent showing up in the short-term. The chances are maybe less, but were giving up a lot less, said a noticeably frustrated Horachek. Forty shots as opposed to 25 is a big difference. The Leafs are finally thinking defence first under his direction, even if that costs them a chance at some extra offence. Its a matter of continuing to play that way even when the results arent showing. The way were playing I think more often than not youre going win games more than you lose, Winnik observed. All too lucky often during that smoke and mirrors run of late 2014 – and well before that – the Leafs have seen that luck run out recently. Theyve scored two or less in five of the past six games, getting next to nothing on a usually potent power-play. They played it tight again on Wednesday, but slipped up just enough to lose the game. Anaheim scored the opener at the tail-end of a full two minute, five-on-three advantage, adding three straight from Perry. The former Hart Trophy champ scored his first of the night on a shot that clipped the right skate of Cody Franson. His second of the evening was a breakaway the Leafs believed adamantly was offside, his third plunging into an empty net, Ducks fans howling furiously in anticipation. Its a frustrating night, thats for sure, Franson said. I thought we played a pretty strong systematic game. We kept a very good, solid offensive team to 25 shots. Systematically I think were doing a lot of good things and stuff that we can continually build on. Weve definitely got some tough puck luck right now and its frustrating, but weve got to stick with it and continually move forward. For all the improvement theyve managed under the new bench boss though, the Leafs need to start making that process work toward some result and soon. They sit two points back of Florida and five points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the East. Five Points 1. Dry Spell The Leafs were the luckiest team in the league when they rung off 10 wins in 12 games, burning with an on-ice shooting percentage of more than 14 percent and a PDO of 108 (anything above 100 registering as lucky). That luck has turned in the past couple weeks. Suddenly the chances Toronto is managing arent falling and while playing to a tighter brand the quantity of chances has diminished. Weve been happy with our process of how weve been doing things, weve just got to capitalize on our chances, James van Riemsdyk said. Were not probably trading as many chances now so youre going to really have to bear down on the ones you go get. Once the highest-scoring team in the league the Leafs have fallen to fifth at 3.04 goals per game. Theyve managed just nine in the past six games. Well find ways to score, van Riemsdyk added. We have a lot of firepower. Well find ways to score. 2. Shot Suppression Toronto managed something in defeat that it never could under Carlyles direction. They held an opponent under 30 shots for the fourth consecutive game, the Ducks managing just 25 on Jonathan Bernier. That didnt happen once with Carlyle at the helm, achieved in Horacheks first four games behind the bench. The Leafs have given up less than 23 shots per game since Horachek was moved into the head coaching role. Given the light night for his no. 1 goaltender, Horachek may opt to go back to Bernier in San Jose on Thursday night. He wouldnt commit to using James Reimer prior to Wednesdays game. Sometimes you look at situations where you think you want to get your other goalie in...and a lot of times that is on back-to-backs, Horachek said. Clearly thats a good time to do it, but sometimes you need to get the points and you need to balance that as well. 3. Concussed David Booth was on the ice about 20 minutes before the Leafs morning skate was due to kick off on Wednesday. He was alone on the Honda Centre surface, putting in extra skating and getting up a few extra shots. Booth left the building later that night with an apparent concussion. The 30-year-old took a Sami Vatanen elbow to the face during the third period, wobbling nervously around the ice afterward. He required help from teammates and then team trainers to get to Torontos dressing room. Horachek offered no update on his status after the game. Booth has a notable concussion history. He missed 54 games combined with two separate concussions during the 2009-10 season. 4. Road Swoon The Leafs are nearing the middle of a hellish stretch that sees them play 17 times on the road in 22 games. So far, not so good. Theyve now lost eight of the past 10 in visiting confines, facing tall tests in San Jose (Thursday) and St. Louis (Saturday) in the coming days. Their seven road wins this season are more than only the Sabres, Hurricanes and Flyers in the Eastern Conference. 5. Lost Teeth & Stitches Roman Polak lost two teeth and needed more than 20 stitches to repair the damage he suffered last week. Polak took a Troy Brouwer blast to the face a week ago, unbelievably returning to action that night with a badly swollen right cheek. I think adrenaline was up so I didnt feel it, he said. Polak couldnt speak much for days after the initial blow and there was a brief time when he struggled to see out of one eye. But against the advice of the team he decided to play without a cage or visor in the days that followed. He tried them briefly, hated how they affected his vision and ditched it thereafter. The 28-year-old called the overall experience awful, not exactly horrified though at how the initial damage caused his face to look though. I thought it was going to be worse than that, Polak said. I think I can still do my modeling career after I retire. Stats-Pack 2-8-0 – Leafs record in their past 10 games on the road. 4 – Consecutive games in which the Leafs have held an opponent under 30 shots. 22.75 – Average shots against the Leafs in four games with Peter Horachek behind the bench. 1:54 – Ice-time for Daniel Winnik during a two-minute five-on-three Ducks power-play. 1.5 – Goals per game for the Leafs in their past six. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-3 Season: 19.9% (11th) PK: 1-2 Season: 81.8% (13th) Quote of the Night The chances are maybe less, but were giving up a lot less. Forty shots as opposed to 25 is a big difference. -Peter Horachek after a 4-0 loss in Anaheim. Up Next The Leafs visit the Sharks on Thursday night. Adidas Nashville Predators Jerseys . Coach Randy Carlyle didnt know the severity of Bozaks injury. Bozak left the bench and went down the tunnel early in the second period, returned to play a handful of shifts and then did play in the third. Authentic Kyle Turris Jersey .500 ball against teams with winning records, so they needed a huge lift from somebody Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders. http://www.cheappredatorsjerseysauthent ... ier-jersey. - Steve Stricker usually doesnt show up at a tournament on Sunday. Authentic Kevin Fiala Jersey .com) - SirDominic Pointer posted career highs of 24 points and seven steals to lead No. Authentic Juuse Saros Jersey . 1 and reigning champion Caroline Wozniacki was among Thursdays third-round winners, while second- seeded Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the draw at the $4.That led me to ask a different question. I wondered how NHL coaches would feel about a playoff schedule that allowed them to open a best-of-seven series on the road, which many claim to favour, yet still gave them the precious home-ice edge for a seventh game.How would that work, you ask, as they did?Pretty simple, really - the higher-placed team would play the first two games on the road, and then get its home-ice advantage in four of the remaining five contests, excepting game six and including game seven.Overwhelmingly, the NHL coaches who were presented with this idea said they would opt for it if given the choice.That led me to wonder how the NHL would feel about a playoff system that gave the higher-placed team the option of playing at home for games 1,2,5,7, or for games 3,4,5, 7.The leagues schedule-maker wondered why he should make changes based on the apparent whims of coachess.dddddddddddd It was pointed out to him that the alternative plan might be even more attractive to NHL owners and NHL players than to NHL coaches.Thats because it requires less travel over the course of a seven-game series. Traditionally, there is travel following games 2, 4, 5, and 6. In the new model, teams would switch sites only three times, after games 2, 5 and 6.Teams would save money, players would be fresher, and coaches would get what many say they prefer.At the very least, there would be an actual reward for a good regular-season record—the advantage of deciding what the real advantage is over a seven-game series, never mind the supposed and dictated advantage of opening at home.The next time you hear the coach of a team favoured to win lament the pressure that comes with game one at home, think of this way to end that complaint forever, and PASS IT ON. 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