PHILADELPHIA – Like the rest of his teammates, Carl Gunnarsson was doing what he could to remain positive after yet another loss, the seventh straight for the sinking Leafs, but it wasnt easy. The 27-year-old wants to believe that a turnaround is still possible, that his team can salvage the season, dig out from a deepening slide and claim a second straight playoff berth. But as time ticks down and the results continue to linger in the wrong direction, that belief is tested. "Its a struggle," he said in a near-empty visitors dressing room at Wells Fargo Center. "Ill tell you that. We thought we had something going here tonight." Whatever fight they mustered in a 4-2 loss to the Flyers didt matter by the time the night was through. It was just another empty loss, another opportunity to regain ground for not. "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night," said coach Randy Carlyle afterward, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." Never more evident than at this late stage in the season, the difference between winning and losing remained painfully thin. And for the Leafs it was just enough for defeat. Two power-play goals against, a few too many odd-man rushes, a bad break or two and a key mistake at the wrong time. Claude Giroux was the benefactor of one such mistake that sealed defeat for the visitors. The Flyers captain picked off former teammate James van Riemsdyks neutral ice pass attempt - the puck ricocheted off the skate of Scott Hartnell - and zipped a bullet beyond the glove of Jonathan Bernier. "Right now every big scoring chance they get, I think it feels like its going in," said Bernier afterward. "When its not going your way, thats usually what happens." "I thought we played pretty good," he continued. "A few mistakes that end up being goals. From the last game, obviously, I think we played a lot better." But like their harrowing loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, one that saw them manhandled for half the game by the top team in the West, Fridays defeat in Philly counted all the same. It was just another loss at a critical point in the season. "We worked hard," Carlyle said. "Did we work smart enough in some areas? No." Any chance the Leafs have at resuscitation starts Saturday night in a massive showdown with the Detroit Red Wings. A victory reignites whatever belief and hope still lingers. They may have no hope of catching either the Montreal Canadiens or Tampa Bay Lightning, but sitting on near-equal ground with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Red Wings and Washington Capitals - all have 80 points, but with games in hand - a wild card position is still in play. "Obviously, this one, its going to be a tough one to swallow," Bernier said. "But, at the same time, we cant feel sorry for ourselves. [Saturday] is a big game and we all know that." Five Points 1. Carlyles Approach Carlyle has tried to push a few different buttons in midst of his teams recent slide. "Some days, it is a little bit more harsh. Some days, its a pat in the back. Some days its a hug," Carlyle said on Friday morning. "Whatever it is, whatever you feel is necessary. Nobody in life feels like coming to work and being ground into the dirt everyday and thats part of the process. Youve got to pick and choose when to apply pressure and when not to." As to his preferred approach of late, Carlyle said, "Its been more reality of the situation. Just showing and trying to get an understanding that were not that far away. But there are some areas that need to be addressed. Thats as simple as I can put it. Our compete level has to go up. We havent won enough one-on-one battles. Weve given up too many odd-man rushes and breakaways. Weve got to play better on the defensive side of the game." 2. Penalty Kill The Flyers scored twice on the power play, marking the 12th time this season that the Leaf penalty kill has given up two goals in a game this season. Vincent Lecavalier fired a laser for the first of two, a five-on-three goal that was not without some controversy. Jay McClement, taking the draw as Torontos lone forward, was thrown out of the face-off circle, charged with knocking the puck from the hand of linesman Michel Cormier. Dion Phaneuf promptly stepped in and lost the first (and likely last) face-off of his career, Lecavalier blowing the one-timer by Bernier just three seconds later. "Thats not something that you want to happen," McClement said of the face-off incident. "I dont think [Cormier] wanted to do it either. But he explained to me that its black and white when I knocked it out of his hand." Scott Hartnell would add the second power-play marker, redirecting a Kimmo Timonen point shot just beyond the grasp of Bernier. The Toronto penalty kill remains third-worst in the NHL this season. 3. Bollands Comeback Dave Bolland scored for the third time this season in Philadelphia and the first time since his left ankle was sliced by the skate of Zack Kassian on November 2. The 27-year-old hasnt played more than 13 minutes since he returned from the injury and he was kept right in that region against the Flyers. "I just see that in some of the situations, hes struggled with the mobility," Carlyle said of Bolland before the 4-2 loss. "Its not sore, [but] it just doesnt have the strength there. Wre going to try to find a way to get him some more minutes. We know what kind of player he is." 4. The 18-Wheeler Luke Schenn was there in 2012 when the Leafs collapsed and knows all too well how quickly the pressure rises in Toronto. "Lose a couple in a row and everything magnifies that much more," he said. "You lose three in a row and people tend to get on you a little bit. All the fans and the media think that everythings falling apart. Thats just the way it is over there. "Its obviously a tough market to play in when things arent going the way you want them to, but its a great market when things are going well. Theres always adversity in Toronto. Its never going to change. Im sure those guys are going to get through it." Reflecting back to the infamous 18-wheeler skid two years earlier, Schenn couldnt put his finger on just what wrong. "There is no exact reason why. Its probably a combination of different things. Id have to go back and look. Obviously, youre probably getting off to some tough starts in games. Special teams probably werent as good as they need to be. At the end of the day - when I was there - it probably just came down to being outcompeted some nights. Obviously, you lose a couple in a row, confidence isnt always there. Thats just the way it goes. Youve got to find ways to get out of it." 5. Gardiner Offence Just ahead of a clash with the Flyers three weeks ago, Jake Gardiner revealed his disappointment with the offence hed put together to that point. "I dont think my point production has been that great this year,"he said. "Id like to improve on that." The 23-year-old scored a goal the next night in a 4-3 overtime win, rounding up nine points in the past 11 games, including a helper on Bollands seventh goal this season. "Ive tried to jump in the play a lot more and be an offensive threat from the blue line," he explained of his recent surge prior to the game. Gardiner has 26 points on the year. Stats-Pack 1-8-0 – Leafs record in the past nine games. 9 – Points in the last 11 games for Jake Gardiner. 3 – Goals by Dave Bolland in Philadelphia this season. 24:31 – Ice-time for James van Riemsdyk opposite his former team Friday, tied for the team-lead. 15 – Consecutive games without a point for David Clarkson, who has just 10 this season. 8 – Number of times the Leafs have allowed the first goal in the past nine games.4 – Seconds elapsed in the second period before van Riemsdyk scored the first Leafs goal. It was the fastest goal to start a period for the team this season. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-4Season: 20.6% (4th) PK: 2-4Season: 78.1% (28th) Quote of the Night "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." -Randy Carlyle, following a seventh straight loss in Philadelphia. Up Next The Leafs return home to host to the Red Wings on Saturday night. 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In Sundays derby, Lazio took the lead in the seventh minute after Maarten Stekelenburg brought down Klose, resulting in the Roma goalkeeper being sent off and a penalty that Hernanes converted.After his hat-trick at Chelsea, can Man Citys Sergio Aguero clinch the Premier League Golden Boot? While Leicester and Tottenham focus on English footballs top prize, up to five players also have their sights set on another award.Agueros treble at Stamford Bridge has lifted him to within one goal of leading marksman Harry Kane, while Jamie Vardy, Romelu Lukaku and even Riyad Mahrez also have eyes on the summit. So who will join the likes of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo in lifting the top-goalscorer gong? Here, we take an in-depth look at the contest... Previous Golden Boot winners Season Player Team Goals 2014/15 Sergio Aguero Man City 26 2013/14 Luis Suarez Liverpool 31 2012/13 Robin van Persie Man Utd 26 2011/12 Robin van Persie Arsenal 30 2010/11 Dimitar Berbatov Man Utd 20 Carlos Tevez Man City 20 State of playIts Tottenhams Kane who leads the way with 22 goals, the latest of which earned Spurs a point at Anfield in early April. Harry Kane leads the Golden Boot race with 22 goals However, Aguero and Leicester striker Vardy are just one back. Everton frontman Lukaku is on 18 but his goals appear to have dried up following his breath-taking start to the campaign. Mahrez, meanwhile, completes the quintet on 16 goals having handed over the goalscoring mantle to Foxes team-mate Vardy in recent weeks. Remaining fixturesAhead of Sundays fixtures, Kane, Aguero, Vardy and Mahrez have just five matches remaining to add to their respective tallies.Kanes Tottenham travel away to Stoke, Chelsea and Newcastle in their final five games and welcome West Brom and Southampton to White Hart Lane. That run of games could benefit Kane, with 12 of his 22 goals coming on the road for Mauricio Pochettinos side.Leicesters fixtures fall opposite to their main title rivals Spurs, with three of their remaining five games taking place at the King Power Stadium. This slight adjustment is unlikely affect Vardy, whose 21 goals are split 11 at home and 10 away. Could Romelu Lukaku make a late surge for the Golden Boot? Its a different story for Mahrez, though. Only four of his 16 league goals have come at home, and with tough trips to Manchester United and Chelsea accounting for the remaining away fixtures, his challenge could well be weakened.Lukakus 18 goals have been evenly split at home and away so the only advantage he may receive comes by the fact he has at least one games advantage on his rivals.Thirteen of Agueros 21 goals have come at the Etihad Stadium, but he will not have the luxury of home comforts, with three of Manchester Citys final five games coming on the road. Remaining fixtures Harry Kane Jamie Vardy Sergio Aguero Romelu Lukaku Stoke (a) West Ham (h) - - Newcastle (a) Liverpool (a) West Brom (h) Swansea (h) Stoke (h) - Chelsea (a) Man Utd (a) Soton (a) Bmouth (h) Soton (h) Everton (h) Arsenal (h) Leicester (a) - - - Sunderland (a) Newcastle (a) Chelsea (a) Swansea (a) Norwich (h) Repeat performance?Remarkably, Lukaku and Aguero would share the Golden Boot if they were to repeat their goalscoring form against their remaining opponents.ddddddddddddThe Belgian, who has played two games fewer than Kane, Vardy and Mahrez, and one game fewer than Aguero, notched an impressive eight goals in the corresponding fixtures - a repeat would take his tally to 24 goals.Aguero would also finish on 24 goals, with his current tally of 21 boosted by a further three goals he scored against Newcastle. Will Vardy or Mahrez add the Golden Boot to a potential Premier League winners medal? Kane and Vardy would be tied third, with the pair adding just one and two goals to their current tallies if they were to replicate their goals from earlier on in the season.Mahrez, meanwhile, would remain fifth despite scoring six goals in the corresponding fixtures first time around. It appears the Algerian may have too big a gap to bridge. Golden Boot 15/16 (if results repeated) Player Team Current total Goals in reverse fixtures Total Romelu Lukaku Everton 18 +6 24 Sergio Aguero Man City 21 +3 24 Harry Kane Tottenham 22 +1 23 Jamie Vardy Leicester 21 +2 23 Riyad Mahrez Leicester 16 +6 22 Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapps verdictAgueros hat-trick at Chelsea has blown the whole Golden Boot race wide open. Its great to see two English players in the mix and Id love to see one them do it. Is Aguero going to play every game with the Champions League semi-finals coming up for Man City? Is Manuel Pellegrini going to rest him? He took him off with five minutes to go against Chelsea and hes had muscle injuries in the past.As for Lukaku, I think he might just have a bit too much to do. Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness verdictThere might be an element with Aguero that he needs to play to be at his best. Strikers have to be at their sharpest, at it all the time. Looking at his shape, I think hes someone who needs to be worked all the time and cant be rested too much.Id like to think as well hes someone who wouldnt want to miss a training session or a game, knocking on the managers door, saying he wants to be part of everything going on. Who do you think will hold their nerve and claim this seasons Golden Boot? 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