NEW YORK – Jonathan Bernier had one thing running through his mind amid an avalanche of shots in what was a wildly tilted second period for the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Al Davis Jersey . "Trying to breathe," he said with a grin. Bernier stopped 42 of 43 shots on Monday night, including all 22 in a hectic middle frame, his heroic performance propelling the Leafs toward an undue point in their final game before the Christmas break. "I thought Bernie stood on his head and gave us a chance to steal another point," said Randy Carlyle after the 2-1 shootout defeat, the teams 10th loss in the past 11 games on the road. Nudging a puck past the pads of rookie Cam Talbot, Nazem Kadri evened the score at one with less than two minutes to play in regulation. His efforts would have been for not if it wasnt for the sterling play of the 25-year-old between the pipes. The Rangers outshot the Leafs 22-5 in a penalty-filled second frame, firing 18 shots in a span of just 12 minutes. "We had a bit of a rough stretch there," Kadri said, "but thats why weve got great goaltenders. We werent worried because we know Bernie can hang in there and make some big stops for us. Obviously weve got to find a way to tone that down, but he gave us a chance to win the game." Toronto goaltending has been that kind of rock through hard times all season, the lone bit of solace amid continued spurts of inconsistency. The bookends of Mondays performance were solid for the Leafs, nearly undone though by a second frame under siege. "Im just trying to keep it close," said Bernier of the experience in the second. "I know were going to score one goal and Im just trying to do my job and go shot by shot." It was the fourth 40-plus save performance for Bernier in 22 starts this season. He now boasts a .929 save percentage on the year, good for seventh-best in the NHL. But the Quebec native wouldnt go so far to say hell stole a point for his team. In fact, he couldnt help but lament the two goals that snuck by in the shootout. "I didnt steal one," he said. "I didnt get the extra point. When you give up two goals in the shootout most of the time youll lose so Ive got to be better in shootouts." Five Points 1. Bernier Shootout Struggles Bernier dropped to 3-8 lifetime in the shootout and 2-4 this season. His career .500 save percentage is amongst the worst of any active goaltender (tied for 68th in a class of 77). He was beaten on this night by Mats Zuccarello, who flipped a shot over his left shoulder, and Derek Stepan, who potted the eventual winner. "I thought the first two I was a little bit impatient," said Bernier. "Ive got to go get that extra point for my team." 2. Road Woes The road has offered nothing but misery for the Leafs since the start of November. With Mondays shootout defeat, theyve now dropped 10 of the last 11 games away from the ACC (1-6-4), outscored 36-20 in that span. Their lone victory in that stretch came on Dec. 7, a 4-3 shootout triumph over the Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. Now 6-8-4, the Leafs have the fourth-worst road mark in the Eastern Conference. 3. Means to Victory Saved often by the efforts of Bernier and James Reimer, the Leafs now sit 13-1-2 on the year when theyve yielded two goals or less. Conversely, their record is just 5-15-3 when theyve allowed three goals or more. 4. Christmas Break "This is the dog days of hockey when you get close to the 40-game mark," said Carlyle. And with a three-day break lying in wait for the holidays, he and the Leafs are just hoping to reset with an increasingly taxing second half ahead. "Its been a real hectic schedule here for the last three weeks, Ill tell you that," Carlyle said of a stretch which saw his team play 12 times in 23 days. "It seems like we play every second day and theres no relaxing time and then theres very limited practice time." With just one regulation victory in the past 18 games, theyll need to find a path towards improvement. "You just cant look at all the negatives," said Kadri, who scored his 11th goal of the year in defeat. "Youve got to look at the positives. I know thats a bit cliché, but its the right thing to do. You also point out the negatives and you go to the chalkboard and you work on it. But I think a few of those games weve played some of our better games of the year and still come out with losses. Thats just how this league works." 5. Lengthy Shift For one stretch in the Rangers dominant second frame, Dion Phaneuf was caught on the ice for a taxing two minutes and 56 seconds. New York fired five shots on goal before Peter Holland was finally whistled for roughing, the first of four penalties for the Leafs in the period. "Not very good," said Phaneuf, asked how he felt during the near-three minute shift. "When you get stuck out that long its tough. "I was trying to change obviously. I wouldve liked to not get stuck out there for that long, but its part of what happens. Sometimes teams are able to hem another team in and thats what happened tonight." Stats-Pack .929 – Save percentage for Jonathan Bernier this season, seventh-best in the NHL. 3-8 – Career record in the shootout for Bernier. 1 – Regulation victory for the Leafs since Nov. 19. 1-6-4 – Leafs record on the road in the past 11 games. 5-4 – Shootout record for the Leafs this season. 13-1-2 – Leafs record when yielding two goals or less this season. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-4Season: 22.4 per cent (4th) PK: 4-4Season: 78.4 per cent (26th) Quote of the Night "I didnt steal one. I didnt get the extra point. When you give up two goals in the shootout most of the time youll lose so Ive got to be better in shootouts." -Jonathan Bernier, following his 42-save performance. Up Next The Leafs are off three days for the Christmas break, returning to host Buffalo on Friday night. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raiders-Jerry-Rice-Draft-Jersey/ . It is unclear how long Kallstrom, who was brought in to alleviate the teams midfield problems, will be sidelined. Arsenals communications director, Mark Gonnella, says the club decided to proceed with Kallstroms signing despite the injury. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raiders-David-Sharpe-Draft-Jersey/ . - Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II says the NFL has told the team it will not be docked a pick in this years draft for coach Mike Tomlins foray onto the field against Baltimore last November. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raiders-Jordy-Nelson-Draft-Jersey/ . -- Crystal Webster avoided elimination at the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Olympic pre-trial curling tournament with an 8-5 win over Amber Holland on Thursday.DENVER – Even a six-game win streak isnt enough to ease the nerves of a head coach. “Coaches never breathe easy,” said Randy Carlyle with a chuckle after his team pulled out an unlikely 5-2 win in Colorado. Make it six straight for the Maple Leafs, who despite the challenges of the blistering Avalanche – one regulation loss in the previous 10, thin air of the Mile High City, and third game in four nights, managed to overcome with two points in the second tilt of a four-game road trip. The primary components of the win streak stood tall yet again. There was more terrific goaltending, this time from James Reimer, who stopped 35 of 37 Avalanche flurries. There was continued dominance from Phil Kessel, who extended his wild point streak to seven games with a pair of goals. There was another quick strike in the opening frame. And there was another fine special teams outing, the Leafs scoring again on the power-play while halting a scorching Colorado man advantage in all four opportunities. Sunny times roll on in the dead of winter for a once victory-challenged squad. “Theres a lot more life in the room,” said Dion Phaneuf after the latest victory. “Weve got a confidence in our dressing room right now that we feel good about ourselves. And thats a good feeling for a team.” Its been eight years since a Toronto club won six in a row, the last run coming during the 2005-06 season. This streak was especially unforeseen considering how dour the scene looked less than two weeks earlier and really for the better part of the season. The Leafs had just four wins in regulation during a stretch of two months and had dropped four consecutive games in the early days of 2014, including a pair of disastrous blowout losses to the Rangers and Hurricanes. But from those ashes has risen an unlikely string of victories – including four in regulation in this run alone – some good fortune aligning with good goaltending, strong special teams and elevated performance from some of the teams top guns, notably Kessel and the top line. “It was a tough stretch,” said Kessel, who has 26 goals on the year, “but we stayed positive and we fought our way out of it and were on a pretty good roll right now.” Five Points 1. En Fuego About the hottest hes ever been as an NHL player, Phil Kessel added two more points to a scorching seven-game point streak. Kessel, who scored twice against the Avalanche and now has goals in four straight games, has six goals and 14 points during the sizzling run. “Hes a mutant almost,” Morgan Rielly beamed to the Leaf Report during Tuesdays game. “Hes just scoring. Hes getting points. Hes happy. Hes flying around out there so its been great. Hes one of the top players in the world and hes proving it.” Kessel managed the two markers, but could have ended up with three or four considering the dozen or so opportunities he had on this night. He scored his first on a breakaway, beating Semyon Varlomov far-side, adding another on a rebound opportunity. “What did he have like 12 shots on goal tonight,” van Riemsdyk said of his linemate, who managed eight shots. “It was pretty incredible the display he put on.” “I couldve had a bunch tonight,” Kessel agreed. “I missed some good chances.” 2. Scoring First With the first of two goals from Kessel – a stretch pass from Dion Phaneuf feeding the winger – Toronto scored first for the fifth time during their rare six-game win streak, a point of emphasis for a team thats been outscored in first periods all season. “That was a big thing weve been keying on is having better starts,” said Tyler Bozak on Tuesday morning. “When you get that first goal the odds say that youve got a way better chance of winning so thats something that we want to do as much as we can.” Scoring first against the Avalanche was especially important. Colorado entered the night with 25-1-3 record when they landed the games first goal. And though the Leafs didnt exactly storm out of the gate – they were being outshot 11-2 at one point, no doubt stung by the altitude – they did manage to hang in, mostly due to the early efforts of James Reimer. “Reims stood tall for us,” said Carlyle of Reimer, who won his second straight start. “Thats what were asking of our goaltenders. When you get a chance to get in there give uus what you can … Give us goaltending that you can hang your hat on. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raiders-Reggie-Nelson-Draft-Jersey/. .” 3. No Fly Zone James van Riemsdyk took hold of the team lead with his eighth power-play goal of the year against Colorado, redirecting yet another Cody Franson point shot beyond Varlamov for the Leafs second goal. “JVRs got a no-fly zone,” Franson chirped afterward. “Put it in a certain airspace its going down.” van Riemsdyk has proven adept at the tactic of tipping pucks, a skill-set he began practicing on the driveway of his home as a kid. That practice picked up when he reached the NHL in Philadelphia. Flyers assistant coach Joe Mullen helped the former University of New Hampshire star formulate a daily routine for working on it. And now at the end of just about every on-ice workout, the 24-year-old does exactly that. “I owe a lot of that to him because he would hammer away some slappers at me every single day,” said van Riemsdyk of Mullen. “And then Id have Chris Pronger breathing down my neck, getting me out there before practice sometimes doing it. Ive worked on it a lot over the years. It comes a little bit more naturally thanks to those guys.” 4. Offence from the D The Leafs stable of defenders barely made a blip on the offence in the opening two months of the season – just three goals in the first 28 games. Since that point, however, theyve offered a much greater contribution. The group had scored at least a goal in four consecutive games before Tuesday, totaling 17 on the year and a hearty 14 in the past 24 games. And though they didnt find the scoreboard against the Avalanche they did manage to aid in the attack. A pair of point shots – one from Franson on van Riemsdyks 20th of the season and one from Jake Gardiner on Nazem Kadris 13th this season – were redirected for goals. “Our job is to get the puck through or make plays with it up top,” said Phaneuf, who sits second on the team with 20 points this season. “Our forwards have done a really good job down-low of getting us the puck and giving us some time and moving it quickly up to us [at the point]. Weve been able to get some pucks through with some good screens and when you do that you generate chances and thats what weve had success with.” 5. Lead Protection Third period lead protection has been a recurring struggle for the Leafs this season – theyve been outscored 61-42 – and one thats been tested amid the win streak. Just a night earlier in Phoenix, the club had some difficulty protecting a big lead in the final frame – lackadaisical at times, according to Carlyle – before pulling out an eventual win. Again on Tuesday they were tested, but after a quick goal from Nathan MacKinnon, which closed the gap to 4-2, the club gradually found its bearings. “Hopefully this is a sign of growth for our group and we can continue to go forward,” said Carlyle. “Theyve got a lot of offence,” Phaneuf said of the high-powered Avalanche. “Theyre coming with four guys the whole time. We gave up some chances, but really we kept a lot of it to the outside. And when they were coming they obviously were pushing when theyre down by as many as they were. We did a good job holding them off.” Bonus Point – Man Advantage Now ranked third in the NHL, the Toronto power-play struck for the seventh time in the six-game win streak. The unit has sizzled with a 31 per cent success rate during the run (7-23). Stats-Pack 7 – Consecutive games with a point for Phil Kessel, who has six goals and 14 points in that span. 4 – Consecutive games with at least a goal for Kessel. .930 – Even-strength save percentage this season for James Reimer, tied for sixth-best among NHL netminders with at least 20 starts. 4 – Consecutive games with a point for Nazem Kadri, who has two goals and six points in that span. 8 – Shots on goal for Kessel on Tuesday, a season-high. 19 – Points in the past 16 games for Tyler Bozak, who had two assists against Colorado. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-4Season: 22.9% (4th) PK: 4-4Season: 77.8% (27th) Quote of the Night “JVRs got a no-fly zone. Put it in a certain airspace its going down.” -Cody Franson, on James van Riemsdyks redirection abilities. Up Next The Leafs continue their four-game road swing in Dallas on Thursday night. Cheap Red Sox Jerseys Cheap Orioles Jerseys Cheap Mets Jerseys Cheap Phillies Jerseys Cheap Nationals Jerseys Cheap Cubs Jerseys Cheap Reds Jerseys Cheap Brewers Jerseys Cheap Pirates Jerseys Cheap Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Diamondbacks Jerseys Cheap Rockies Jerseys Cheap Dodgers Jerseys Cheap Padres Jerseys Cheap Giants Jerseys ' ' '