From Official Toronto Maple Leafs
Is there a fine line between playing with an edge and staying out of the box?
Of course, discipline is a huge part of the game and no matter what the calls are you have to find a way to stay out of the box, especially against potent power plays like Chicago’s and Boston’s tonight. We’ve got to make sure that’s a priority tonight.
How important is this time of year to maintaining confidence?
I think that makes it easier, we’ve been through this before early on in the year. That’s really all that happened was us playing well but not getting results for it. We understand that it’s a process, we’ve got to stay with it and then the results are going to come.
Why aren’t the special teams where they were earlier in terms of efficiency?
We’ve just got to get that confidence back I think. A few weeks ago it seemed like every time we stepped on the ice we knew we were going to score, we knew we were going to kill the penalty also. I think we’ve just got to get an ugly one quick and get that swagger and confidence back.
On the Bruins having the top power play in the League:
Like I said, discipline is going to be huge. We’ve got to make sure we’re moving our feet. They’ve got some elusive and quick forwards but we’re going to make sure we stay over top of guys and hopefully not give them too much time.
Do you look forward to fewer back-to-backs in the second half?
That’s always nice, it’s always nice to get teams on the end of back-to-backs as well. It seemed at the beginning of the year we weren’t getting too many of those bounces but that’s just the cards we were dealt and we’ve got to deal with it. Regardless of the situation we’ve got to be prepared.
How does the structure help protect the team in a back-to-back?
Structure is our friend, we’ve been saying that this whole time. It’s a safety valve for us. It allows guys to make mistakes and not look bad. We’ve got to stick to that structure because we know at the end of the day it’s going to help us win.
On what type of road trip he prefers:
I always like the day off between games. It always gives you a little more time to prepare, especially if you’ve got guys with some bumps and bruises. It gives you more time to treat the situation. I’d rather that for sure.
Is discipline a big key to tonight’s game?
Well obviously it killed us last night. We did a lot of good things 5-on-5 and had ourselves set up pretty good but in the end we gave up — it only added up to two power play goals but really it was three, the guy had just got out of the box so that was the difference in the game last night and we’re playing a good power play in Boston. They’ve got really good specialty teams, they’re coming off a win last night, it’ll be a good test for us.
Are you looking forward to less back-to-back games in the second half?
Yeah, but whatever. You’re playing them, the schedule is the schedule and back-to-backs, the last two nights we played teams on back-to-backs and we were unable to take advantage of it. The bottom line is not only is the schedule important but what you do with the schedule is more important. To me, the games we’re playing, we’re set up good. We’ve got good space between our games, let’s find a way to win a game.
What’s the key to maintaining possession once you secure it off the draw?
I just thought last night, we had the puck a lot last night, we had quality, quality chances. We didn’t score and it’s well documented we haven’t scored of late and they scored. No one did much as far as getting goals 5-on-5, they did it on the power play and we’ve got to find a way to generate. Tonight we have another opportunity and we’re excited to be back at it.
Are you noticing anything different in the team’s play through the four losses?
No, I thought we played really well in the second and third against Columbus. I liked our game last night, like I said to you except when we were on the penalty kill. That’s the bottom line. Could we have had a better result the last two games? Absolutely. We don’t though. There’s no moral victories in the League so let’s get ready to play today.
Toronto Maple Leafs
23 Matthias – 42 Bozak – 15 Parenteau
40 Grabner – 43 Kadri – 47 Komarov
26 Winnik – 24 Holland – 19 Lupul
32 Leivo – 56 Froese – 28 Boyes
51 Gardiner – 3 Phaneuf
2 Hunwick – 44 Rielly
52 Marincin – 46 Polak
63 Marchand – 37 Bergeron – 14 Connolly
39 Beleskey – 51 Spooner – 21 Eriksson
72 Vatrano – 41 Kemppainen – 11 Hayes
36 Rinaldo – 25 Talbot – 29 Ferraro
33 Chara – 62 Trotman
44 Seidenberg – 48 C. Miller
47 Krug – 86 K. Miller
3:30 PM: The Maple Leafs play the second leg of a back-to-back in Boston tonight when they take on the Bruins.
The Leafs are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Morgan Rielly had to the lone Leafs goal while James Reimer made 25 saves in the loss. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the nod in Boston.
The Bruins also played on Friday night, but were on the other side of a 4-1 decision with a win in Buffalo on Friday. Matt Beleskey, Zdeno Chara, Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly scored for Boston. Jonas Gustavsson made 33 saves to backstop the Bruins to victory. Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start against the Leafs.
Stay tuned for projected lineups, comments from Coach Babcock and more.