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/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal">It would be convenient to point to the Steven Stamkos injury as a major reason the Tampa Bay Lightning are struggling, but it doesnt explain the entire story.

Cheap Nets Jerseys Authentic/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> .Of course, losing their captain and offensive superstar hurts the Lightning, especially since he had been playing some of his best hockey in two years before the injury. But the Bolts have been a resilient bunch that was able to survive key injuries before. Tampa Bay reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last season, and the Lightning were without Stamkos until the final game of that series.Weve been able to do it in the past, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman told ESPN.com on Tuesday. Even with Stammer or other players being injured, weve been able to generate offense, get enough production and ultimately play well defensively and keep the puck out of our net to win games.A popular preseason pick to challenge for the Stanley Cup, the Lightning have lost seven of their past eight games and sit 12 points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens. The Stamkos injury aside, Tampa Bays slide is puzzling. This is a deep, talented lineup with a great coaching staff, a team that reached the Cup finals two years ago and fell one win short of a return trip last season.We need to get a bit more offensive production out of our top-nine forwards, said Yzerman. We need more out of them. But mostly, its our play defensively as a team that has to improve. Thats what is hurting us the most.The ingredients are there. But as Yzerman said, it starts with a better defensive effort.Were not going to win many 6-5 games, said Yzerman. Were falling in some categories -- our penalty killing is dropping, our goals against, our shots against. Were in the bottom half of the league now in those three categories, and those categories have to be good in order to win.Goalie Ben Bishop is not playing nearly as well as he was last season, and I cant help but wonder if the pending unrestricted free agent isnt distracted by his cloudy future. He almost was traded to the?Calgary Flames?last June, a deal that fell through because he couldnt come to terms on a contract agreement with the Flames. The Bolts then signed younger goalie?Andrei Vasilevskiy to an extension during the offseason. The writings on the wall, in all likelihood, for Bishop -- whether its in the form of a trade before March 1 or simply that he will walk away as an unrestricted free agent next July 1.Bishop can only help his stock by playing better. Not only will that attract trade suitors, it will also improve his contractual leverage for his next deal if he gets back to the level he was at a year ago.Yzerman refused to single out players, but rather stressed the collective need for Tampa Bays entire roster to be better. And theres no doubt the team can be better in front of its goaltenders.In the meantime, Lightning fans would love to see their GM make a trade. Who can blame them? But as weve seen around the league during the opening few months of the season, the cap system has had a paralyzing effect on big moves. Teams are waiting until closer to the March 1 trade deadline, when some bottom-feeding clubs finally give up on the playoff chase and put players up for sale. The parity throughout the league means that almost no one has raised the white flag yet. And it takes two teams to make a trade.Were constantly looking at ways to improve our team, Yzerman said. Weve lost seven out of eight. But it really doesnt change what were trying to do or what wed like to do. We have areas wed like to address with our team, whether thats from within the organization with the players we have, or seeing if we can do that out there on the trade market. If theres something that makes sense, were prepared to do that. But its difficult to find a partner for it to make it work. Everybody has concerns about the salary cap; everyone has concerns about the expansion draft. It is difficult to make a trade.Yzerman, who keeps his cards close to the vest, wouldnt specify the teams trade needs. But Im confident that a top-four defenseman tops his wish list. Its been a missing piece for this team for quite some time. And since a bunch of other teams also covet elite D-men, theyre a prized commodity and thus difficult to get -- which means theres no guarantee that the Lightning will be able to score one before the trade deadline.But you can bet Yzerman will continue to work the phones.Again, wed like to think we know what our team needs, said Yzerman. Wed like to think we know our players well and how we can help our team improve. But as Ive said time and time again, Ive got to find someone whos willing to work with me. Cheap Brooklyn Nets Jerseys/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> . "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. Wholesale Nets Jerseys/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> . Despite dominating possession, Schalke needed an own goal from Nicolas Hoefler for the breakthrough a minute before the interval. The Freiburg midfielder misjudged Jefferson Farfans corner and bundled the ball into his own net.http://www.cheapnetsjerseys.com//>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> . Marincin has played in two NHL games so far this season with two penalty minutes. The 21-year-old has three goals, four assists and a plus-5 rating in 24 games with the American Hockey Leagues Oklahoma City Barons this season. DETROIT -- Robert Spillane intercepted a pass with 51 seconds remaining, and No. 13 Western Michigan remained undefeated, holding off Ohio 29-23 on Friday night to win its first Mid-American Conference title since 1988.The Broncos (13-0, No. 17 CFP) led 23-7 at halftime, but Ohio rallied and had the ball in WMU territory in the final minute when Spillane intercepted Greg Windhams pass over the middle. Spillane immediately took a knee at his own 30, then was mobbed by his teammates as a Ford Field crowd full of Broncos fans roared.Ohio (8-5) never led and didnt do much on offense until the final quarter, but the Bobcats still came achingly close to their first MAC championship since 1968.Instead, WMU became the first undefeated team to win the MAC title game since Marshall in 1999. The question is whether the Broncos have done enough to make it to the Cotton Bowl. WMU is trying to earn the Group of Five bid to a New Years Six bowl.Weve done all we can do, quarterback Zach Terrell said.Western Michigans Corey Davis had eight catches for 144 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Butch Hampton kicked five field goals, the last a 34-yarder that gave the Broncos a 29-23 lead with 1:24 remaining.The crowd of 45,615 was easily a record for a MAC title game.THE TAKEAWWAYOhio: The Bobcats can hold their heads high after giving WMU by far its toughest game against a MAC opponent all season. Cheap NBA Jerseys/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal">. Ohios defense held firm early, when a couple fumbles by the Bobcats gave WMU a chance to break it open.They felt they had the talent to be in this game, and so did I, Ohio coach Frank Solich said. They were pretty driven to get some things done.WMU: The Broncos may end up sweating out the bowl announcements Sunday -- Navy is putting up quite a fight for that Group of Five spot -- but WMU can celebrate a truly special season no matter what happens. The Broncos nearly let it slip away in the second half, but their first conference title in nearly three decades was an accomplishment to savor.UP NEXTOhio: The Bobcats MAC title drought continues, but Ohio is bowl eligible for the eighth straight season.WMU: Navy plays Temple for the American Athletic Conference title Saturday, and WMU will obviously be rooting for the Owls in that one. Navy was two spots behind the Broncos in the most recent playoff rankings.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .---This version corrects Ohios record. Cheap NFL Jerseys/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap NFL Jerseys China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap Jerseys From China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Wholesale Jerseys China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> Cheap NFL Jerseys China/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> NFL Cheap Jerseys/>imsun; font-size:medium; line-height:normal"> ' ' '