TORONTO -- Randy Carlyle
spoke candidly Tuesday morning about the Maple Leafs abysmal record this season against the Boston Bruins
. He used the word "embarrassing" to describe the Leafs' four losses by a combined 23-6 score against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Carlyle, of course, was not around for any of Toronto's own Boston massacre. It didn't change his thinking.
"When you're with a team, it's we, it's not I, so I'm part of the Toronto Maple Leafs
, and to tell you as a head coach of the hockey club and to look at the record, we are embarrassed," said Carlyle, who will make his debut behind the home bench at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday. "We want to make a change in that. As we stated, we have to play the game to a higher level on the road and in this building. This is our building. We want to make it as difficult as possible for teams to come in here and have success against us. That's a fact."
Carlyle put the Leafs through two rigorous practices Sunday and Monday that occupied a combined three and a half hours. There was plenty of teaching going on in each session. He said the key to beating Boston on Tuesday is to basically put into play what he implemented over the last two days.
"The message was we better be prepared to play the type of hockey that is going to be necessary to win the little battles that are out there, to win the 50-50 pucks, the one-on-one battles, or we're going to be embarrassed," Carlyle said. "We can't be embarrassed in our own building.
"We want to try to be first on the puck, use the skating game that we're capable of, be conservative from a standpoint where you don't give up and don't make the Hail Mary plays, and keep as many people above the puck when you don't have it," he later added. "And when you have opportunities to go, you're a transition team and you skate. I've said it numerous times, we've got to get on our horse and get going."
Sticking to his superstitious ways, Carlyle would not verbally announce the starting goaltender for Tuesday's game. But Jonas Gustavsson
was the first off the ice and Carlyle said if a guy is playing well he's going to stick with him.
Gustavsson made 21 saves in Toronto's 3-1 win over Montreal on Saturday. He has a 5.44 goals-against average and .852 save percentage in three appearances against Boston this season.
"You've got to play well to earn the next chance. That doesn't change if you get a new coach," Gustavsson said. "I try to make the most of every chance I get. Then, if I get another chance I'll try to do the same thing there. My thinking didn't really change with the new coach. It's just about doing the same thing."
Carlyle did have some lineup news to announce. He said Mike Brown
, who aggravated a previous hand injury late in Monday's practice, will not play and John-Michael Liles
is a gametime decision. Liles developed a temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit late Monday night.
"We thought it would be best suited for him not to come here this morning," Carlyle said. "He will visit with the doctors prior to the game, before everybody gets here, and we'll make an assessment on whether he's available to us or not."
Here is what Toronto's lines and D pairs could look like Tuesday:
- Tyler Bozak
- Phil Kessel
- Mikhail Grabovski
- Matt Frattin
- David Steckel
- Colby Armstrong
- Tim Connolly
- Matthew Lombardi
- Dion Phaneuf
or Cody Franson
- Mike Komisarek
- Jake Gardiner
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl