Leafs Say They Won't Change Much After Loss
BOSTON, MA – While the Bruins did not skate Thursday and had the day off in preparation for Game 2, the Toronto Maple Leafs held practice at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena, following their 4-1 loss to the Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at TD Garden on Wednesday night.
There were some changes to the lineup in practice, both up front, and on the back end, mostly due to occurrences from Game 1. Defensemen Cody Franson and Michael Kostka, along with forward Phil Kessel, were the only three players missing for Toronto.
Leafs Head Coach Randy Carlyle said following the practice that Franson had sustained a bruise after getting hit by a shot and Kessel was a “maintenance day.” Carlyle also said Kostka suffered a broken bone in one of his fingers.
“[Kostka’s] now out,” said Carlyle following the practice. “We have choices of [Ryan] O’Byrne and [Jake] Gardiner [to replace him]. I would suggest that one of them, or maybe both of them, are going to play.”
Toronto had a lot of energy out on the ice and seemed to be upbeat, despite the loss.
“I think at the beginning it's always somber,” said Carlyle of the mood around the team. “What we tried to do is, we tried to meet before and go over some of the things, the areas that we felt we needed to improve on.
“That's above most importance, we really can't change what we did last night, we just have to regroup, reset, refocus, and get ourselves into prep mode for Saturday.”
“Sometimes, you've got to flush it,” added Leafs goalie James Reimer. “You learn from your mistakes, you go over it and you see what you did wrong. There's no point in dwelling on it; the sun came up this morning, it's a new day, and we have a new opportunity on Saturday.”
The Leafs liked the way they competed, saying their effort and their physical play was where it needed to be. As a result, Reimer said the team shouldn’t change anything too drastically heading into Game 2.
“We want to spend a little bit more time in their zone and be able to transition into our own end a little better, basic stuff like that,” explained Reimer, who made 36 saves in Game 1. “Just really adhere to our game plan a little better. You can't get too down or start changing too many things because if we just played to our ability, things may have been a little bit different. We can't go changing too much.”
When asked if he may insert youngsters Ryan Hamilton or former Bruins prospect Joe Colborne into the lineup on Saturday night (they both skated in the Leafs' 12-forward mix Thursday at practice), Caryle said, “When you're putting your lineup together you go with people you feel are going to give you the best chances in the situation you're presented with.”
Colborne, who was drafted 16th overall by the Bruins in 2008, is dying for the chance to play in the postseason.
“So bad,” Colborne said when asked if he wanted to suit up for Game 2. “Even with the history with Boston, but you can feel the intensity way up in the press box. I'm going to jump on it and run with it [if I play].”
When the Bruins traded for defenseman Tomas Kaberle at the trade deadline in 2011, Colborne was shipped to the Leafs along with a first round pick. But before being traded, Colborne played two seasons with Providence and became friendly with many of the current Bruins.
The 23-year-old center knows the Boston organization well and saw firsthand what has allowed Boston to have so much success over the last few seasons. But, Saturday night, Colborne said the Leafs have to look at themselves if they want to even the series.
“We can only focus on ourselves and what we can control; we knew it was going to be a battle,” said Colborne on how the Leafs can turn things around. “Boston has given us some problems over the last few years. They're a great team for a reason, they've won a Stanley Cup, those guys have the experience. So we're kind of trying to learn as we go.
“Whatever happens next game with the lineup, hopefully I'll have an opportunity to step in, but if I'm not in, I'll be supporting whoever is.”