The Montreal Canadiens recent skid couldnt have arrived at a worse time. Vans Shoes Discount . Not to say theres ever a good time for four losses in a row, but thats the Habs reality and in doing so have seen themselves drop into wild card territory behind the hated Toronto Maple Leafs. Granted, Montreal has two games in hand, but with the three teams ahead of them all riding hot streaks - the Boston Bruins earning points in four straight, the Tampa Bay Lightning on a three-game winning streak and the Leafs having earned points in seven of their last eight - the alarm is rightfully going off. Its not just the losses or even the standings that are of highest concern to Montreal fans. The Canadiens have given up at least four goals in each of their last six and Carey Price has been chased out of the net in two of his last three games. Even the lone win that they have managed to garner over the stretch – a 5-4 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 16 – was a puck that trickled past Craig Anderson and led to a firestorm with P.K. Subbans game-winning celebration. Add that to a near-goalie fight against the Pittsburgh Penguins last Wednesday and the Canadiens are grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons. So what gives? Mired in the longest stretch of futility since general manager Marc Bergevin took over, the Canadiens dont have a single player among the NHLs Top 50 scorers and their current leading scorer is a defenceman (Subban). A defenceman - mind you - that will once again be the centre of contract negotiations and all sorts of rumours until his name is once again down on a contract. However, with 55 points through the first 44 games of the season, perhaps the Habs should be granted some slack as they endure this skid. After all, the Detroit Red Wings - currently two points back of Montreal and in the second wild card spot - rattled off a six-game losing streak in December. The Maple Leafs, too, lost four straight before going on their current streak, giving up even more goals in their four-game skid than the Canadiens have on their current slide. Even if they should win both their remaining games, the Canadiens will post their worst monthly record of the season for January. They will then have five games in eight nights in early February to try to make some hay before the Olympic break. But then what? If Price or Subban are unable to thrive – or not even feature – for Canada at the Olympics, will it affect their play after the break? Will the likes of Alexei Emelin and Andrei Markov return jubilant if Russia captures gold at home? Or will they be crushed by disappointment? The Canadiens have time to turn the ship around with more than a third of the schedule left to play, but the closer the playoffs get, the tougher the games will get. The Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are both keeping pace with one another, meaning a failure to gain ground could soon result in a first-round date with one or the other. Or even the Pittsburgh Penguins. Or even failing to make the postseason for the second time in three seasons. So are the Habs going through a bad stretch? Or are they just a bad team? As always, its Your! Call. Vans Sale Store . The Mavericks avoided a season sweep by the Nuggets, who ran away with a win in Denver two weeks ago to hand Dallas its longest losing streak at three games. Dallas (42-28) got a boost in the playoff race when Miami rallied from seven down in the last 3 1/2 minutes to beat Memphis 91-86 Friday night. Vans Shoes Wholesale Store . In the days leading up to the draft, TSN.ca and TSN Radio basketball analyst Duane Watson looks at some of the names that will be headlining the event. Tonight, Michigans Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ontario.MELBOURNE, Australia - Asked what the future might hold for her young opponent, Venus Williams offered some heartfelt advice that could easily apply to her own career.Skys the limit, said the 34-year-old Williams. There is no limit on what you can achieve. No one can stop you.Sometimes you may not win every match, but theres a lot of them you can win, said the seven-time Grand Slam champion. Really, the skys the limit for her and anyone out there.Williams did not win her quarterfinal Wednesday at the Australian Open. That honour went to 19-year-old Madison Keys, a composed and confident power hitter who might be the future of American womens tennis. After beating Williams 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, Keys now faces her first Grand Slam semifinal against Venuss celebrated sister, Serena, who has already won 18 major titles.But for 10 days, Venus impressive run at the Australian Open provided one of the tournaments feel-good story lines. It was the first time since 2010, that Williams, who has suffered from an auto-immune illness, had reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal.Some called it a comeback, or a late-career resurgence. It was a topic of conversation among other players who called her an inspiration, and in the tennis community at-large.How great is it to see her back playing great tennis deep into a major, now-retired American player, Andy Roddick, tweeted Wednesday. The sport is better for it.Tennis great Billie Jean King had been sending tweets of encouragement throughout the tournament, including one saying, I am inspired by @Venuswilliams every time she takes the court.For the first time in years, Williams did not face a single question in her post-match news conferences about retirement, so she did not have to reiterate that she plans to keeep playing as long as she still enjoys it. Vans Old Skool Black Sale. She talked instead about how she still loves to win — and at this stage she wants to win big.For me I like to win titles, whether its a smaller event or a big event, she said. Thats what I play for.In her two decades on the tour, Williams has won 46 titles, including her most recent one earlier this year in Auckland.She joked about her age, and Serenas who is 33 and showing no sign of slowing down.We just cant figure out how were still here, Venus said. I think our perspective is were still quite good at what we do. While were here, were going to be here.At times during her stay in Melbourne, she talked about how she was in a good place both mentally and physically on the court, how her years of experience now help her tactics in matches, how she has learned to manage her illness, an auto-immune condition called Sjogrens syndrome, with a diet to reduce inflammation, exercise and knowing her bodys limits.In 2011, she announced she was suffering from the condition, which can cause joint pain and sap energy, and took seven months off from tennis. After tumbling in the rankings to outside the top 100, she climbed back to No. 24 by the end of 2012.She is now No. 18 and as a result of reaching the quarterfinals in Melbourne is projected to move up to No. 11 when the new rankings come out Monday.Among those who expressed their admiration for Williams was Keys, who has said that as a small child she remembers watching Venus on TV at Wimbledon and wanted a white tennis dress just like hers.I think Venus has helped the sport, said Keys. Just watching her is inspirational. Shes had her health battles. She loves tennis. Shes still out here, and shes doing it remarkably well. ' ' '