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Bounce Back in Beantown

by Paul Hendrick / Toronto Maple Leafs


The Maple Leafs arrived in Boston in the wee hours following Monday's 3-2 loss at Tampa.

There's plenty of concern that a two game losing streak following the Chistmas break might evolve into something more than that.

The Leafs have lost five of their past six games and blown two goal leads in three of their past five games. Equally troubling is the fact that the club has given up 40 or more shots in four of their past seven games.

Despite such travails the Leafs elected to go with an optional skate in Boston on Tuesday with six skaters and Jonathan Bernier participating at Northeastern University.

"We did a lot of teaching this morning through video," said assistant coach Steve Spott. "We had a real good meeting at the hotel. We talked to our leadership group and I think that we all agreed that after going back to back, we would teach through video and be back here tomorrow for a full practice before our game tomorrow night."

Leo Komarov was amongst the group of skaters participating Tuesday and looks ready to play after a hit from Alex Ovechkin on November 29th knocked him out of action for 14 games.

Spott welcomes the possibility of getting the Leaf spark plug back in the lineup soon.

"He's really the lifeblood of this team and we feed off of his emotion and his passion. The doctors will reassess him after today's (Tuesday) skate and hopefully have some good news in the very near future."

Another positive sign was getting Jonathan Bernier back on the ice after he came down with flu like symptoms when the team arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

Bernier looks good to go in Boston Wednesday relieved he's feeling better and knowing he didn't have the mumps.

"The first day I was a little bit afraid, good thing Dr. Noah (Noah Forman, team doctor) was here. He was able to see me right away when i gave him the call," said Bernier. "We were pretty confident it was just the flu, he got to me pretty quick and it lasted for just 24 hours. "

The Leafs will have a full team skate Wednesday morning at Northeastern before concluding this calendar year with a game against the Bruins on Wednesday night.

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