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Quick had never played an NHL game in

 
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miaowang123



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:15 am    Post subject: Quick had never played an NHL game in Reply with quote

TORONTO - The Raptors have won seven of eight games, with just four remaining on the docket before the playoffs begin, but their head coach has been reluctant to celebrate his teams bittersweet late-season success. Thanks in large part to a soft schedule and their improved efficiency on offence, they are finding ways to pull out games that they have probably deserved to lose. In that way, progress has been made, as Raptor teams of the past would universally find creative and increasingly frustrating ways to squander winnable games. The red flag is routed in their recent slippage on defence, Dwane Caseys bread and butter. With the postseason around the corner, Casey knows that mental and physical toughness is about to become more important than ever. He cant help but be concerned with what hes seen. "If we havent taught defence by now we shouldnt be coaching," he said following a Thursday afternoon practice session. "Its a mindset right now, its a focus. Its this time of year throughout the league, its an epidemic." Over the last two games, Toronto has allowed Milwaukee and Philadelphia - the NBAs two worst clubs - to score 212 points combined, shooting exactly 50 per cent from the field, with each team exceeding 60 points in the painted area. On the season, the Raptors are surrendering 102.0 points per 100 possessions, the eighth-best mark in the association. Since Mar. 25 - a span in which theyve played nine games, six against sub-.500 competition - that number has ballooned to 107.2, ranking 17th, below league average. Offensively, theyve picked up the slack. Over that same stretch of nine games, the Raptors have scored 4.1 points more per 100 possessions than their regular season mark. Simply put, their shots are falling. Theyve connected on 44 per cent of their three-point attempts in the last four contests. That said, theyve made it this far with their commitment to defence. Thats what Casey knows, thats what he preaches and for whatever reason, his team has struggled to regain their identity at the most inconvenient time of the year. "Weve just got to get back on track," DeMar DeRozan said, following Torontos 125-114 win over the lowly 76ers on Wednesday. "Weve got to get out of whatever were not doing on the defensive end before the playoffs start. Just clean that up and use the next four games for that. Understand what were not doing and get back to the basics of what got us to this point." "We saw it on film, we showed the film, we talked about it, went through it this morning," Casey added the next day. "Its something thats going to have to be internal. Guys have to decide individually, Imma guard my yard and Im not going to let a guy blow by me." For the most part thats been the most glaring issue, containing speed and quickness on the perimeter, something the Raptors have been burned by consistently throughout the latter part of the season. Its easy to look at the 126 points Toronto has given up in the paint over the past two games and assign blame to the teams interior players but most of those buckets have come as a result of blow-bys and mental lapses on the perimeter. "Its a lot of things that factor into it and weve got to understand and learn that weve got to bring the same effort and focus every night," Casey said. "Its not something you teach. I mean, were not going to change defensive fundamentals. You cant drill it, its too physical. So its a mindset of understanding where we are in the season and understanding what were playing for." "Its not a lack of energy. Guys are playing hard, were just not focused on what we need to do and what were trying to do scheme-wise and playing smart." Surely some of the drop off can be attributed to injuries and having to shift rotations. Kyle Lowry returned to the court Wednesday after a three-game absence with a knee injury while Amir Johnson, the teams most valuable help defender, has missed most of the last four contests nursing his sore ankle. Johnson participated in a light practice Thursday and is nearing a return to game action, though the coaching staff will be cautious with his playing time when he is able to suit up, as early as Friday at home to the Knicks. "Its a day-to-day thing," Casey said of Johnsons status. "He probably could have went [Wednesday] night if it was totally needed but we need to get him healthy." With or without Johnson, the Raptors will be pursuing history when they host New York Friday evening. With a win, or Nets loss - theyre at home to Atlanta - Toronto would clinch its second division title in franchise history, while also matching a team record for most victories in a season with their 47th. Theyll also have an opportunity to go 15 games above the .500 mark for the first time in their 19-year existence. "That would definitely be an accomplishment," Johnson admitted, "but our main focus is just going game-by-game until we get to the top and then we can celebrate all our accomplishments." Meanwhile, the Knicks are a desperate team, sitting two games behind the Hawks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Well rested after four days off, they could present a challenge for Toronto and its ailing defence. "We expect nothing but theyre best shot," Casey said. "Theyre going to come out guns blazing, playing hard, as we should after our defensive performance [Wednesday] night. So I expect both teams to come out, I think itll be a hard fought game but weve got to play hard and smart." DeRozan and Lowry are also chasing history as their career seasons come to a close. Lowry needs just one three-pointer to tie Morris Petersons single season franchise record, previously set in the 2005-06 campaign, while DeRozan is 10 made free throws away from matching Chris Boshs mark of 504 from 2008-09. Nike Air Max 2016 Solde . Vargas (8-3) allowed four singles and two walks while striking out five, allowing only two runners from a diluted Twins lineup to reach second base. Mike Moustakas and Jarrod Dyson hit RBI singles in the second inning against Kevin Correia (4-10), and that was all Vargas needed. Nike Air Max 90 Rose .com) - The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard Seth Curry on Tuesday. http://www.airmax2016-fr.com/nike-air-max-2016-solde/nike-air-max-2016-flyknit.html . Louis Cardinals have agreed to a one-year contract. Nike Air Max 2016 Pas Cher . Levante, which had lost five straight including a Copa del Rey game last weekend, fell behind at its Ciutat de Valencia stadium when Ionut Sapanura opened the scoring for Elche in the 26th minute. Nike Air Max 2016 Femme .S. military base for UFC: Fight for the Troops 3. This fight card, which takes place in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, has had a number of changes, including headliner Lyoto Machida replaced by fellow Brazilian Rafael Natal.NEW YORK – For a stretch of 10 minutes in the middle frame of the first Stanley Cup Final game at MSG in 20 years, the New York Rangers fired 13 consecutive shots at the goal of the L.A. Kings. Jonathan Quick turned aside each and every one of them and so many more - 32 in all - as he and the Kings nudged the Rangers to the brink of elimination on a sticky Monday night in Manhattan. “He was obviously the best player on the ice tonight,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said glumly afterward. Asked what went wrong, Vigneault deferred to Quick. “We couldnt score,” he said. This was a flashback to the remarkable Quick of two years earlier, the Quick who rung up three shutouts and a .946 save percentage in a near-flawless march to the Kings first Stanley Cup. The now 28-year-old hadnt been nearly as dominant this time around. He entered Game 3 with a mild .906 save percentage while sprinkling in the usual assortment of game-changing stops, including a breakaway save on Carl Hagelin in the dying moments of regulation in Game 1. “I think that was his best game of the playoffs,” Drew Doughty said of Quick in a visitors dressing room that remained cool and business-like, despite the Cup drawing near. “He played fantastic for us tonight. He made some big saves, saves he had no business making.” Most memorable and crowd-deafening among them was a heroic stop on Mats Zuccarello in the opening period, one that saw the Kings netminder employ every last ounce of will to keep the puck from crossing the line – the net appeared open – his paddle the ultimate saving grace. Some on thhe L.ddddddddddddA. bench, including captain Dustin Brown, thought Zuccarello simply missed the gaping cage only to discover later on replay that it was Quick who kept it out. “Hes the best in the world,” said Jarret Stoll. “Hes going to come up with those saves sometimes, it doesnt surprise us.” His brilliance only continued thereafter. Amid the aforementioned barrage of shots in a second period plagued with penalties – L.A. was a perfect on six penalty kills – Quick calmly brushed aside Rick Nashs hard charge to the net before swatting Derick Brassards attempt away for another glowing stick save. Brown, also a teammate of Quick with the American squad internationally, is past being surprised by such theatrics in the crease. “The best example is playing at the Olympics and seeing other guys react to it and Im just sitting there because Ive played with him long enough and hes made enough of those saves you kind of expect him to do it,” said Brown. Born in nearby Connecticut and a Rangers fan growing up – the 90-minute drive kept him from attending many games – Quick had never played an NHL game in the historic Mecca of New York hockey, though he did take to the ice briefly as a 12-year-old in one rare visit. This performance will surely eclipse such a memory. Cloaked in a hoodie and sweats afterward, Quick downplayed any added meaning to his debut on the hallowed ice of MSG. “It meant it was a playoff hockey game,” he said slyly. “We were trying to win a hockey game.” One more and the taste will be a whole lot sweeter. 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