The day after the night before, the Leaf practice Friday opened with a bit of fun.
That wasn't expected, given the team's dismal effort in a 7-4 loss to the Islanders Thursday night in which they surrendered a 3-1 first period lead and fell apart in their own zone.
But coach Randy Carlyle, perhaps sensing the massive criticism of the club's effort by fans, decided a light approach was best.
And so the coach, after a lengthy video session in the dressing room, had his players open practice Friday with about 15 minutes of shinny hockey.
The only caveat was the players had to shoot opposite to their normal shooting side — which only added to the fun.
Things, of course, will get considerably more serious Saturday in New York against the powerhouse Rangers.
The only change from Thursday night during Friday's practice was David Steckel centering the third line with Nazem Kadri and Matt Frattin.
Leo Komorov, who is normally on that line, did not practise.
Saturday will be the Leafs' fourth game in six nights and the club's goaltending will once again come into question.
Having given goalie Ben Scrivens "a mercy pull" in the loss to the Islanders, Carlyle is expected to give James Reimer his second straight road start on Saturday against the Rangers.
Carlyle also hopes the Jekyll — not Hyde side of his team shows up at Madison Square Garden.
Thursday's effort was a night and day difference between the team that outplayed and outworked the Pittsburgh Penguins and came away with a 5-2 win just 24 hours earlier.
Maple Leafs: Randy Carlyle tries to keep practice loose day after blowout
Toronto Star | Jan 25