As Randy Carlyle watched Team Canada clinch their second consecutive Olympic gold medal early Sunday morning, it was the way in which they went about achieving success - a complete defensive domination surrendering just three goals against in six games - which piqued his interest most. Toby Alderweireld Hotspur Shirts
. "I looked at it and I hope our players understand that defense does win, thats the simplest statement you can make," said the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach on Monday. If there is a goal for the Leafs over their remaining 22 games, it should be to clamp down defensively. Throughout the season, they have routinely been outshot, allowing 40 or more shots on 16 different occasions, and a league high 2175, 146 more than the next highest team, the Ottawa Senators. Of their 32 wins, the Maple Leafs lead the NHL with 25 wins in games that they have been outshot. A large part of their success has come from excellent goaltending and their ability to outscore their defensive issues, sitting behind only the Pittsburgh Penguins for the most goals scored in the Eastern Conference. But come playoff time, it is often the best defensive teams that emerge victorious. "We know that we can score goals as a team so if we can tighten up a little bit our defence, we feel were going to be a tough team to beat," said Jonathan Bernier, who has faced the third-most shots in the NHL this season. "I think that youve seen that over a long time, not just in that tournament, that good defensive teams have success," added captain Dion Phaneuf. "When you play good defence, it means you have the puck more and that generates more offence. Thats a fair statement when you say defence wins, its been like that for a long time." Team Canadas defence was made effective, primarily by the cohesion featured among the five players on the ice at any given time, and the relentless nature in which forwards back checked. While that system was executed by some of the finest players in the game, strong defensive skills are not like offensive talent. When it comes to scoring goals, some players simply have more of a knack at it than others but, as Dave Bolland explained, there should be no excuse for poor defensive play. "Defence is about commitment," he said. "I know coming into the NHL, my defensive skills were terrible, and I admit that. But I learned that defence wins you games. I sort of took a hold of that and set it up as my third-line role." Bollands impending return (he, like last week, remained coy today about the potential of dressing against the New York Islanders this Thursday) should help lead the way in terms of defensive commitment. In 15 games before going down with the severed tendon in his left ankle, Bolland showed himself to be among the Leafs top defensive forwards. "I learned a lot about back checking when I got into the league," said Bolland. "When I was in juniors, you didnt even think about coming back. Once I got up to the NHL, you learn backchecking is crucial. The first guy I learned that from was Marian Hossa. You see that guy backcheck, he corrupts [sic] a lot of puck and he corrupts [sic] a lot of sticks, hes always back in the right spots." For an example of the style of play he hopes his players can work toward, Carlyle looked no further than the gold medal game itself. "In that game, it was played at a very high pace, but defence, probably on both hockey clubs, was very evident in the way they approached it and how they tried to set up their defensive schemes," he explained. "On the big ice surface, it doesnt look as Josh Onomah Hotspur Jersey
. Old times for a defence that has looked just plain old recently? "No," safety Ryan Clark said. "We used to be much better than that. Dele Alli Hotspur Jersey
.Y. -- It was as if Matt Moulson never left the New York Islanders. http://www.hotspurfcstore.com/c-19-nacer-chadli-tottenham-hotspur-fc-jersey.aspx
.C. United on Wednesday night. Forward Bright Dike scored the games only goal in the 85th minute on a foggy night in Bradenton, Fla.BANFF, Alta. -- Canadian freestyle skier Roz Groenewoud isnt letting surgery to both of her knees deter her expectations for the Sochi Olympics. The womens halfpipe star injured her left knee in training at last weeks Dew Tour in Colorado. The 2011 world champion had the operations done Tuesday and is expected to fully recover in four-to-six weeks. The Feb. 7-23 Sochi Games begin in just over seven weeks. Groenewoud is expected to be a podium contender in womens halfpipe skiing, a discipline that will make its Olympic debut next year. "Im still feeling really good about the Olympics and my chances there," she said during a conference call Thursday. "I think this is definitely a step back . . . but it really gives me a chance to focus and come back with even more focus having a very outlaid plan of how Im going to have a comeback essentially. "I think through this whole buildup to the Games Ive been pretty good focusing on the process, not the overall celebration. The surgeries I had on both my knees are very minor compared to what a lot of other athletes have to go through." Given that Groenewoud has had nagging issues with her right knee as well, her team made the decision to scope both joints at the same time after consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. "The menisci problems of both knees put her at risk for more severe injuries," said Dr. Mark Heard. "Im very optimistic about a speedy recovery." Heard added the prognosis was excellent given Groenewouds "two very healthy knees in all other respects plus good leg strength and body mechanics. Clinton NJie Jersey
. " Groenewoud, from Calgary, secured her place on the Olympic team last week despite the injury. She was able to complete the qualifying run and finished 10th. "The surgery was to address some issues with the lateral meniscus in both knees," she said. "The left one was a bit more serious than the right, I had a larger, more problematic tear. "However, the right one ended up having a larger tear than what showed up on the MRI so Dr. Heard cleaned up both meniscus, drained some of the extra fluid that was under my patella (in right knee) and generally just made them prettier and more functional." Groenewoud is hoping to return to competition midway through next month at an event in California. "That is totally dependent on how the swelling goes and the advice from the team at the CFSA," she said. "California, nice weather . . . skiing in California is always so much fun." In the meantime, Groenewoud has returned to Calgary, where she said shes enjoying the benefits of some home cooking from her mother. "She made me one of my favourite pastas (Wednesday night), a clam pasta that was pretty delicious," Groenewoud said. "Generally I dont make myself pasta very often or eat very much pasta so it was very comforting." Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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