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Canadian Press
9/30/2006 12:04:06 PM

TORONTO (CP) - New head coach Paul Maurice readily admitted on the opening day of training camp that the Maple Leafs will be in season-long battle in trying to qualify for the NHL playoffs.

Much to his credit, Maurice didn't con Leafs fans by sugar-coating things, and nothing that has transpired leading up to the regular-season opener at home Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators has altered his view.

``The air was slightly sucked out of the room when that came out,'' he said of his candid early assessment. ``But that's our hope, and that's the way this league works now.

``For years I felt you could predict 10 of the top 16 in the NHL with high accuracy. I don't know that you can do it as easily anymore. Because of that, that puts you in a dogfight. Some teams don't want to admit to that and I think it hurts their chances or their sense of urgency to fight every night.''

Maurice sends a lineup into the dogfight that has been radically revamped by GM John Ferguson from the one that finished ninth in the Eastern Conference last spring, and it says here that there are enough improvements to lift the Leafs into the top eight and the playoffs.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=179379&hubname=nhl
 

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it'l be tough, no doubt. But if their younger players fro mlast season cn improve upon the year they had last year, and the newer players coming in can chip in here and there (except Peca and Kubina, they have to be absolutely solid on the ice) Toronto should be okay this year.
 

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As much as I don't like the Leafs, I gotta admit I like Maurice, he shoots from the hip, won't pull his punches, and calls out a player when needed... which is exactly what the Leafs need.

Now if they can get, and stay healthy, they'll make it to the post season.
 

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hockeycoach said:
As much as I don't like the Leafs, I gotta admit I like Maurice, he shoots from the hip, won't pull his punches, and calls out a player when needed... which is exactly what the Leafs need.

Now if they can get, and stay healthy, they'll make it to the post season.
It's different, that's for sure. I heard he's skating the guys hard on the ice, and many of them leave exhausted.

Did you see Jeff O'Neill in the interview today? He looked like he had just run a marathon. :laugh:
 

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Yeah, the Leafs will need to stay very healthy to make the playoffs this year and that may be tough with such a vetern lineup.

One more puck to the face and Matty will fall as will the Leafs.

Let's keep our fingers crossed.
 

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BE-LEAF-ABLE said:
Did you see Jeff O'Neill in the interview today? He looked like he had just run a marathon. :laugh:
Yeah that was awesome, I'm really just hoping Jeff gets to where he needs to be in order to produce this season.

How many "off years" has he had in a row? Enough that you have to wonder if he still has it in him.
 
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