Leafs forward Peter Holland spoke to the media on Monday during the team's day off the ice. Here's what he had to say...
On the Nashville loss as a turning point:
It's sort of looking that way. Any time you get embarrassed like that on home ice you definitely want to have a response. We have a lot of character in that room and we really wanted to right the ship, so to speak. I think we've done a good job since that point.
On the feeling in the room after that loss:
There was definitely some talk within the room. We wanted to make sure we righted the ship and got things back on the right track. We had played some pretty decent games up until that point and then that night everything snowballed into a negative thing for us. We just wanted to make sure we got back to playing our brand of hockey and I think when we do that we can be pretty successful and we've shown that the last 10 or 11 games.
On the team's desire to improve from that point:
We're all taking a stand and making sure every day we practice things we're changing or trying to get better at or trying to execute into our game plan. Against Detroit the other night we changed our neutral zone forechecks and it seemed like we naturally molded into it, like we hadn't missed a beat. I think that's a growth for our group.
On the push to win the right way:
There's definitely a right way to play and a wrong way to play — some nights you can get away with playing the wrong way and get two points. This is such a good league that you need to play the right way to be successful more times than not and we're definitely focusing on that.
On facing his former organization on Tuesday:
Obviously to play against friends you've played with before is exciting. Anaheim is such a great team and have been for a couple of years that it's nice to benchmark yourself against them as well.
On success against Western Conference teams:
I don't really think we think too much into it. It's more just going out and playing. Obviously we know it's going to be a tough game playing LA and now playing Anaheim. Historically they've had a lot of success, especially in the postseason. It's just another game for us but we want to make sure we play Leafs hockey.
On the Leafs' offensive success:
I don't know if we can narrow it down to one thing. I think it's just playing the right way like we're talking about. Making sure we're on the right side of pucks, being good in the neutral zone which is helping us transition the puck from defence to offence quicker. I think we've got a lot of speed up front and we can attack teams off the rush and push them back. That's been giving us a lot of offensive momentum.
On generating chances off the cycle and the rush:
We have a lot of speed so attacking off the rush is huge for us, we're pushing their D back and make plays crossing their blueline. We have a lot of players that can make plays down low too. You look at Lupul and Clarkson and Santorelli who can cycle the puck with the best of them and get the puck to guys in the slot. I think we're pretty effective when we have the puck in our hands.
On the Mumps:
We're taking all the precautions necessary. I've personally been vaccinated, I think most guys have. It's not something I know too much about but we're taking every precaution we can to make sure it doesn't go through our dressing room.