The Leafs held their morning skate on Saturday ahead of their fifth and final meeting of the season with the Red Wings. Here's a sampling of what the team had to say...
Daniel Winnik on if prep becomes easier facing a team back-to-back:
Yeah, especially when it's back-to-back games. It's almost like a mini-playoff series in a sense. You know what to expect from the other team and maybe the pre-scout isn't as long tonight.
David Booth on winning the neutral zone battle:
I think they're one of the best teams, transition-wise. Their neutral zone is very good, they generate a lot of speed and that's tough to play against. We just need to find ways to handle the puck more and take it out of their... It's just controlling the puck, controlling the play, getting the puck in their zone. I think that helps
James Reimer on his status after leaving Friday's practice early:
It was just something really minor. I came across in practice and felt something that wasn't quite right. I felt it out for the rest of practice, got off and got the trainers to work on it. Today it feels fine. I was out there today and my range of motion is about as good as it could be.
David Clarkson on the importance of winning the battle down low and in front of the goals:
It's huge. They're a team that's a well-coached team and their success over the years is the system they play. We've got to find a way to limit the amount of chances they get on us and win battles in their zone to keep the puck in their end of the ice.
Cody Franson on the transition game being a key to the win:
It's huge. They do a good job of checking and when you dump the puck into their zone their forwards interfere a lot, they get in your way and they make it tough to penetrate in on the defencemen so we can make it tough on them and make pressured plays. A lot of times as a defenceman when you figure out what you want to do with the puck, it's tough to generate any sustained pressure and they do a good job of checking and trying not to allow that to happen to them. Winning the puck in our D-zone is important because you can get hemmed in with how well they do that.
Randy Carlyle on adjustments from last game:
Obviously we've looked at it and it's the management of the puck, establishing the forecheck, stopping and going and all of those things we need to get back to. We need to play a north-south game, we've got to manage the puck more effectively, we've got to get on the body. There's one thing the Detroit Red Wings want to do and they want to give and go. They do it all over the ice. They're a great team at supporting the puck in all three zones and if you look at their regroups and their puck recovery, they have ample guys back. Sometimes it's four guys. Most teams recover the puck with three guys and they recover with four and have a fifth guy in a support position. There's lots of things we can review and provide our players with and we try to do that.
Both teams held optional skates this morning. Here are tonight's projected lineups based on Friday's Leafs practice and Red Wings game...
Toronto Maple Leafs
21 van Riemsdyk - 42 Bozak - 81 Kessel
26 Winnik - 43 Kadri - 25 Santorelli
19 Lupul - 24 Holland - 71 Clarkson
20 Booth - 23 Smith - 18 Panik
3 Phaneuf - 4 Franson
44 Rielly - 12 Robidas
51 Gardiner - 55 Holzer
Detroit Red Wings
14 Nyquist - 40 Zetterberg - 26 Jurco
21 Tatar - 13 Datsyuk - 43 Helm
93 Franzen - 15 Sheahan - 11 Cleary
20 Miller - 41 Glendenning - 18 Andersson
52 Ericsson - 55 Kronwall
27 Quincey - 2 Smith
61 Ouellet - 4 Kindl