TORONTO -- The Maple Leafs are still looking to take flight in Air Canada Centre. They hope things take off tonight against Buffalo.
Toronto is just 1-4 at home this season, a slow start that looks worse when compared to its 2-0-1 road record.
"I’ve commented that I thought it was between the ears, and I’m not going to stray away from that," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said today. "I think there’s certain things you do to prepare yourself, and there’s always going to be pressures that come with it. I think as a professional you have to develop a routine that doesn’t matter where you’re playing. If you’re at home or on the road, you do the same thing, prepare yourself in the same way.
"Right now for our group, we think there are things we can improve on, and the mental aspect of it is huge for us."
Scoring goals would help. Toronto found the net just once in each of the last two home games. In effort to spark the offense, Carlyle is putting Phil Kessel (four goals) on a line with Joffrey Lupul (two).
"They’re offense and we’d like to stimulate some offense," Carlyle said. "You’re doing it because you believe what’s going on can’t stay the same. You just can’t continue to accept some of the things that are going on from an offensive standpoint.
"It’s our opportunity here to start fresh tonight and focus on our start. That’s the most important thing for us right now is to get that solid period, a good start under our belt. We know Buffalo is going to come in and try to put pressure on us. They’re going to try to pinch the walls. Watching their game against San Jose, you know what to expect. They’re going to push three guys off offensive-zone faceoff losses. They’re going to pinch their D-men. There’s going to be four guys pushing, so you know that type of hockey game is coming."