Now that the daycare portion of training camp is over Randy Carlyle can get down to business. Send the kids off to junior or the AHL or school or wherever they need to go and start preparing for Oct. 1. The team took the next step in that direction on Tuesday with 14 players trimmed leaving the Leafs coach with 37 down from the 59 who reported for medicals a week ago. Included in the remaining group are three goaltenders and at least three injured skaters giving the coach a workable number going forward. So as the pre-season continues don’t expect any more of the marginal action we saw in the first two contests. Perhaps it is just memory fading from the last time there were exhibition games but the back-to-back with the Flyers this week was particularly abrasive on the eyes. “I wouldn’t say it was a classic NHL game” Carlyle deadpanned after Tuesday’s shootout loss at the Air Canada Centre. A classic it was not but it was all part of a process that by now is probably feeling a little tedious to Carlyle. With no training camp a year ago it was important for the Leafs to allow as many picks as possible from the past two draft classes to at least get a taste of the big camp. Some got game action others did not and frankly with ragged play and so many bodies around few took great strides to distinguish themselves. Now it’s on to Phase 2 and the real prep work for the Leafs coaching staff. With six more pre-season games remaining expect them to get progressively more interesting and competitive which will allow Carlyle and his staff to narrow their focus. No longer will Nazem Kadri and David Bolland be centering lines with wingers destined for demotion. No longer will the Jonathan Bernier-James Reimer competition be waged with more minor- than major-league defencemen in front of them. And no longer will some veterans be afforded the luxury of going through a game with only marginal interest. So what have we learned in five days of on-ice action?
Maple Leafs camp getting down to nitty gritty
Toronto Sun | Sep 18