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16/10/2016

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MONTREAL -- The Montreal Impact need to make the most of Italian stars Marco Di Vaio and Alessandro Nesta while theyve got them, said midfielder Patrice Bernier. Doug Gilmour Flames Jersey . That means now, because it appears that neither of the 37-year-olds will be back next season. Former Italy and AC Milan defender Nesta has already indicated he will retire at the end of the Major League Soccer season, and Di Vaio said this week that he may also quit for family reasons, even though he would prefer to play another year. "No one knows what next years going to bring," Bernier said Friday. "Theres personnel that we didnt expect to be here a long time and we have to take advantage of it. "If theyre here next year, great, but this is the season where the teams in good position. Its our second year (together). We know each other better and you have to take advantage of these moments and these players who are maybe in their last year, like Marco." The Impact (13-7-6) are unbeaten in their last four games and much of the credit goes to DiVaio, who has six of Montreals 11 goals in that span. The former Bologna striker leads MLS with 17 goals. They will be looking for another three points when they face the struggling Columbus Crew (9-14-5) on Saturday afternoon. Lately, the stocky Di Vaio has looked like he could play a few more years, but he said this week he will decide with his family whether to stay on after the 2013 campaign. Either way, he said he will play his best until the end of this season. "Its great to have him," added Bernier. "I take every game with him like its the last because you never know. "It could be he comes back, it could be he doesnt, but this is the year where the group has to see that we can do something that will set the standard for the future. Next year, I hope we have another player like Marco. You never know, but Im just going to enjoy 2013 as long as it lasts." The Impact slumbered through the summer and were in a 1-4-3 slump when they found their legs again on Aug. 17 with a 2-1 win over D.C. United. They followed with a 5-0 win over Houston, a 0-0 draw in Philadelphia and last weeks 4-2 victory at New England, their first road win since June. Bernier said the turnaround began with a tweak in their formation to a 4-2-3-1, adding a second holding midfielder to give opponents less room to run in the middle of the field. "We were leaving our defence exposed against teams that are athletic and can play one-on-one," he said. "We went back to a formation that was very helpful to us at the end of last year. "Once we had six defending players, it made (opponents) go outside. And we know that with the towers we have in the back (Nesta and Matteo Ferrari), they can cross the ball all day but theyre not going to score that many goals." It started with Bernier and newcomer Hernan Bernardello playing just in front of the defence, but an ankle injury that will shelf the Argentine for four to six weeks gave Collen Warner a chance to get back in the starting 11 last week, although he looked a little rusty. It also gives Bernier a chance to sneak into the attack from the back if there is an opening. The 33-year-old had a pair of goals in New England, although both were on penalties. Di Vaio had the other two using the move that has become his trademark, a quick cut inside to lose the defender and right-footed shot inside the far post. It helps that the whole team looks to have rediscovered its form. "People forgot in June and July very easily how well we were playing in March, April and May," said Bernier. "When you come down to the wire, you see guys that have character, guys that are used to winning and know how to step up their game when you really need it. "We know this could be a special year if we all are together, like we were at the beginning of the season and like we are now." The Impact seem to struggle against Columbus. The Crew got a late goal from Dominic Oduro to grab a 1-1 tie in Montreal on April 14 and beat the Impact 2-0 at home on June 15. But they have been in a rut in recent weeks. After losing eight of 11 games, coach Robert Warzyche was replaced by former Crew player Brian Bliss on Sept. 2. Bliss is 1-1-0 as interim coach, winning 2-0 over Houston and losing 3-0 in Kansas City. Impact captain Davy Arnaud once played under Bliss with Kansas City and liked what he saw. "Hes going to demand that theyre hard to play against," said Arnaud. "The first game he was in charge of, they looked very good at home. Last week it was tough in K.C. for them, but they have players that can be dangerous. "They have a new coach, which will give them some extra motivation. And theyre in a situation where they need to get points to get back in the playoff hunt. So its going to be tough." Lanny McDonald Flames Jersey . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. Custom Calgary Flames Jersey . -- There were so many positives from the Orlando Magics first victory of the season that it was hard for coach Jacque Vaughn to stop praising his players. http://www.hockeyflamesfanshop.com/Mike-Vernon-Jersey/ . -- New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis is retiring after a 16-year career to become the goalie coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy.On Sunday, TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie revealed their projected list of players who will be named to the Canadian Olympic hockey team on Tuesday based on information that they have right now. The pair also spoke to how P.K. Subban might deal with a reduced role on the team, the make-up of the Canadian defence and whether or not players currently on the fringes - like forwards Chris Kunitz and Martin St. Louis will make the squad. Hockey Canada announces its mens team for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games on Tuesday. You can catch full coverage live on TSN, TSN Radio and TSN.ca at 10am et/7am pt. Goaltenders: Carey Price, Roberto Luongo and Mike Smith Defence: (Left) - (Right) Duncan Keith - Drew Doughty Jay Bouwmeester - Shea Weber Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Alex Pietrangelo Dan Boyle (R) - P.K. Subban Forwards: (Left Wing - Centre - Right Wing) Logan Couture - Sidney Crosby - Steven Stamkos Jamie Benn - Jonathan Toews - Corey Perry Matt Duchene - Ryan Getzlaf - Claude Giroux Patrick Sharp - John Tavares - Rick Nash Patrice Bergeron - Martin St. Louis Fighting for Positions: Forwards: Eric Staal, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau and Jeff Carter Defence: Mark Giordano, Dan Hamhuis, Marc Staal and Brent Seabrook Considering the minutes he logs and the role he plays for the Montreal Canadiens, can P.K. Subban be a seventh or eighth defenceman for Canada? Dreger: If you ask P.K. Subban, hell say absolutely - "Just name me to the team and Ill worry about where I fit in when we get to Russia and we start competing in the Games." But from a management or coaching perspective, Team Canada has to ask the question. Youre a big minute guy for the Montreal Canadiens - are you okay with being a bit player - if you will - not playing in games and being used sparingly if all the defencemen on Team Canada remain healthy? Again, I believe that the answer is yes. P.K. just wants to make this team. Back in the summer, Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said hed like four right defencemen and four left defencemen. Do you think it will end up that way? McKenzie: I think its likely that its going to be four lefts and four rights and that might be problematic for P.K. p;Subban or Brent Seabrook or Dan Boyle, one of the very good right defencemen. Craig Conroy Flames Jersey. . But I think this is what Mike Babcock wants. Now in the final analysis, do they maybe change their minds and go with two rights and go with Subban and Seabrook as your seventh and eighth defencemen? I suppose thats a possibility, but I dont think theres any question that Mike Babcock would prefer four lefts and four rights. Chris Kunitz is having a great year alongside Sidney Crosby and hes listed as "fighting for a position." Can he win over the decision makers? Dreger: I think he can, but its going to be a really difficult decision and the next round of decisions will be made on Monday. And dont be surprised if Kunitz becomes one of those players who is a final decision leading up to the announcement as late as Tuesday morning. Thats what its going to come down to. Statistically, hes made a very strong case. Is he better than Patrick Sharp? Is he better than Matt Duchene or Jamie Benn? And what happens, God forbid, if Sidney Crosby goes down? Can Chris Kunitz be as effective without No. 87? Steve Yzerman did not pick Martin St. Louis for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, but now hes the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis has been a superstar for him. Is there any way he cant pick St. Louis? McKenzie: I cant imagine that Martin St. Louis is not going to be on this team and when I look at that right wing position and you see St. Louis competing for a spot, I can see possibly four guys ahead of him - Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, Corey Perry and Rick Nash. I believe that those four guys will be on the team, but I also think in the final analysis, with Stamkos out and St. Louis absolutely carrying the Tampa Bay Lightning, I cant imagine that Steve Yzerman can do anything but make St. Louis one of the 14 forwards. If thats the case and there are five guys on the right, then youve got seven guys - Logan Couture, Jamie Benn, Matt Duchene, Patrick Marleau, Patrick Sharp, Eric Staal and Chris Kunitz - with only four who can make it. Thats the kind of difficult decision that people will have to make. Hockey Canada announces its mens team for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games on Tuesday. You can catch full coverage live on TSN, TSN Radio and TSN.ca at 10am et/7am pt. 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