Daniel Winnik offered his thoughts to the media on Sunday as the Leafs look to bounce back after a tough road trip. Here's what he had to say...
On if there are positives since the coaching change:
Yeah I think so. We're breaking out a lot better, I think you see it in the games. We're coming back as five and that's helping the defensive side a lot because we're not spending a lot of time on our puck recovery and we're relieving pressure a lot faster. I'd also have to say that our chances total against are down a lot since Peter has been with us.
On if there is a notable improvement in the shots and chances against:
Yeah, I think so and sometimes you can't gauge shots as bring chances. A team like San Jose, they throw every single puck at the net that they can. I thought we did a good job keeping them to the outside. Last night against St. Louis, obviously not on their goals and maybe a couple of their chances, but I think we did a good job keeping them to the outside and just point shots.
On the scoring drought:
It's tough, you want to try and equate it to puck luck. You see some of our chances like Santo (Mike Santorelli) in San Jose, he hit the post twice and it stays out. For whatever reason we used to be that very opportunistic team and it has just run dry for us right now.
On if the potential of transactions is impacting the room:
I don't think so but no one has deaf ears, they hear what media is saying and what's out on the internet and stuff. It's tough to do, I've been through it before with teams, it's tough to block that stuff out but we're all professionals here and I'm sure everyone has been through it. We've just got to keep doing our jobs.
On helping young players through the off-ice noise:
It's important for us older guys to talk to the younger guys if we can see they're a little unsettled. You just tell them to keep working hard and it should work out.
On using the two games ahead and all-star break to reset:
Yeah, I think so. It has obviously been a tough stretch for us since the Christmas break and hopefully we get two wins going into the all-star break and come back stronger.
On how he can help calm the room:
I think right now it's stick to the process. I know it sounds weird with one goal in four games but the way we're playing really translates into wins. The successful teams I've been on, that's what they do. They play this defensive style of play and the offensive things will come and translate to wins down the road.