TORONTO – As he does at the conclusion of each and every skate, Randy Carlyle gathered his players along the side boards and delivered his message, one that lingered a little longer than usual on this day, his words measured and optimistic amid a late season skid. "Weve given ourselves now a tougher task," said Carlyle after the Friday practice, the Toronto head coach notably chipper and upbeat throughout. "But the bottom line is we just have to win our share of games [and] not worry about what anybody else is doing. Win our share of games. Find a way to get our team playing back to the way were capable of playing." The Leafs – who may have help on the way – have dropped three straight games for the first time in more than two months, their once secure position in the playoff race suddenly veering toward a more uncertain status. Though they still occupy the first wild card spot in the East, their lead on the likes of Tampa, Montreal, New York, Detroit and Washington has narrowed, if not vanished. And a sweltering stretch which saw them rack up at least a point in 18 of 22 games (15-4-3) – following that four-game slide in early January – has quickly become old news. More important now is a looming back-to-back set with the Canadiens and Devils, Montreal notably just three points up as the third seed in the Atlantic division. "I dont think if you go back and watch the game-tape wed say were playing terrible games," said Joffrey Lupul of close losses to the Capitals, Red Wings and Lightning. "Were working, were skating, [but] were making some critical mistakes to not give us a chance to win." Among those errors was a mistake by Lupul in the middle frame of a Wednesday loss to Tampa, one that saw the 30-year-old winger fail to chip a puck out along the boards, the mistake resulting in Steven Stamkoss third goal of the game. Execution errors of that kind were common in the first half of a 5-3 loss to the Lightning – now five points up on Toronto with a game in hand – the Leafs late push, like others in Washington and Detroit, just too late to snap a three-game skid. Carlyle told his team that their competition level, which helped manifest 22 third period shots opposite Ben Bishop, needed to become a more consistent reality. "That has to be 60 minutes," he said. But whats plagued the Leafs in recent days isnt altogether different from whats lingered beneath the surface all year, defensive concerns standing most prominent. Unlike most of the season, however, their top line has quieted some (with secondary support still inconsistent) and the goaltending in Jonathan Berniers absence has been merely average. James Reimer has a .901 save percentage in five consecutive appearances. Special teams, additionally, have both struggled. "Its just been a mistake here or a mistake there or not getting the job done on special teams," said Lupul. Help could be on the way with Dave Bolland "probable" to return against the Canadiens, Bernier remaining out a fourth straight game because of a groin injury. Sidelined for nearly five months Bolland is expected to play alongside Mason Raymond and David Clarkson, exuding a real excitement about returning to the Toronto lineup for the first time since Nov. 2. "Things are going upwards," the 27-year-old said ahead of the Saturday tilt. Bolland has missed the past 56 games with a severed tendon in his left ankle, grueling through months of slow-moving rehab. He appeared close to a return in early March, but was still having trouble crossing over, pushing his timeframe further back than even the team expected. "Its a grind and its not fun coming to the rink early in the morning and then leaving later after the guys and then getting there for the game and working out and seeing whats going on on the ice," said Bolland. "Its not a fun moment for hockey players to go through that, to battle through that. "You dont get any excitement. You dont really feel the excitement that the guys feel when they win … Youre sort of in the background when things are going on. Its good to see that everything is going upwards." Bernier was on the ice for a third straight day Saturday morning, but was not yet at 100 per cent, according to Carlyle. His status for Sundays game in New Jersey also appears in question with a return more likely early next week. "We were pretty excited with some of our additions coming into camp and it seems that we havent had everyone in there as a whole yet," said Lupul. "Itll be interesting to see." Altering some of the recent maladies though will require improvements elsewhere. Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak were due to cool off from a scorching two-month run and they have, meaning that more is required offensively from Lupul, Nazem Kadri, David Clarkson and other sources of depth from the group up front. Toronto forwards have just seven goals in the last six games. Unable to outscore teams recently, the Leafs have actually cut down on the number of shots against, yielding only 31 on average during the three-game skid. But theyve ceded far too many high-quality opportunities – notably to Stamkos most recently – many of which Reimer could not turn aside as Bernier has for most of the season. Their power-play, additionally, is in need of a spark with just three goals in the past 14 games. And their penalty kill, once rising, has given up five in the three losses. Unpredictable and unwaveringly confident all year in the face of adversity, theres no reason why the Leafs cant turn things around in a hurry. But with just 11 games to play and a stake in their second straight trip to the postseason on the line, the clock is certainly ticking. Nike Shoes From China . - While he appreciates suggestions from Packers fans of remedies for his sore left calf, Aaron Rodgers is not necessarily going to listen to the advice. Clearance Nike Shoes From China . - Erick Torres scored his 10th goal of the season on a stunning volley, and Chivas USA edged 10-man Real Salt Lake 1-0 on Saturday night. https://www.nikeshoeschina.us/. - Suspended Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon has voluntarily checked into a treatment facility and seems to be doing well. Nike Shoes From China Outlet . Just ask last seasons Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, who were resoundingly defeated last weekend by a rampant Vancouver Whitecaps in a match which produced two contenders for MLS Goal of the Week from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales. Discount Nike Shoes From China .Before a raucous sellout crowd, the Hawks won for the 29th time in 31 games to extend their Eastern-best record to 36-8.As usual, pretty much everyone chipped in.Four starters were in double figures and backup point guard Dennis Schroder led a spurt at the start of the fourth quarter that helped the Hawks pull away.PHILADELPHIA -- Phoenixs locker room was turned into a makeshift cheese steak shop, Phillys favourite sandwich in the stall of every Sun. Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, city natives, handled the catering for teammates that begged them for the tasty postgame feast. "Every time I come out, Ive got to make sure I take care of those guys," Markieff Morris said. "Ive got to show em what Philly is about." Philly sure did get a taste of what the Suns are about -- a high-energy offence that ran at full force for 48 minutes. Gerald Green scored 30 points and Goran Dragic had 24 to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 124-113 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. There was no need for a Suns comeback in this one. They led wire-to-wire over the hapless Sixers, one night after rallying from an 18-point halftime deficit to win at Cleveland. "We were just trying to pick up where we left off in the second half," said Green, between bites of his cheese steak. "We just told ourselves today, we wanted to start off quicker than we have the last few games." Did they ever. The Suns made their first six shots and 10 of 11, racing to a 16-point lead. Green hit his first seven shots until he botched a fast-break dunk. Markieff Morris scored 13 points and had four blocks. The Suns blocked a season-high 12 shots. Green and Dragic, Phoenixs starting backcourt, combined to make 19 of 25 shots and the Suns shot around 60 per cent for most of the game. "Sometimes the guys come out and theyre tired or dont have the energy," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We had a lot of energy." The Suns (26-18) matched their season high for points and surpassed last seasons win total. They also improved to .500 on the road at 11-11. Michael Carter-Williams had 22 points and 11 assists for the Sixers, who have lost 10 of 12. The Suns picked up where they left off in Cleveland, when they held the Cavaliers to six points in the third quarter and outscored them 56-29 in the second half. They attacked the Sixers from all over the court, scoring in bunches on dunks, floaters and three-pointerss.dddddddddddd Sixers coach Brett Brown called a timeout 25 seconds into the game. Whatever he didnt like out of the Sixers, he couldnt fix. Green hit a three and Dragic connected on a 19-footer for a fast 36-20 lead. "We didnt come out the way we intended," Brown said. "We want to end this middle third being a better defensive team. We talk about it, we drill it, we show it. Weve got to find a better way to get that done." The Suns and Sixers were both expected to finish near the bottom of their conferences. After a 3-0 start, the Sixers crashed back to reality and are one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. The surprising Suns have withstood the loss of Eric Bledsoe (knee) and positioned themselves as a playoff team in the Western Conference. The Suns took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter and held off a minor Sixers run that whittled the score down to single digits. Green settled the Suns with a three-pointer that stretched the lead to 113-100 with 3:10 left. His fourth three of the game (on four attempts) sealed the win and the Suns cruised toward their fourth win in five games. Green could only laugh off the missed dunk that would have kept him flawless, at that point. He made 10 of 12 shots and had three blocks. "I like to make plays like that for a team," Green said. "That right there gives us juice. I thought that could have been a turning point in the game." Turned out, the blooper didnt really matter in the final score. Miles Plumlee had 14 points and 13 rebounds against a Sixers team that entered allowing an NBA-worst 109.5 points per game. P.J. Tucker scored 15. Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young both scored 21 points for the Sixers. "They came out and just made tough shots," Young said. NOTES: Young, Turner and Brown were all whistled for technical fouls. ... Former Temple star Dionte Christmas returned with the Suns. Christmas, a Philadelphia native, left about 50 tickets for friends and family. ... The Sixers have allowed 100-plus points in seven straight games. .. The Sixers went 25 of 26 from the free throw line. ' ' '