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Maple Leafs try to get back to work after being caught up in Ottawa shooting

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TORONTO - Twenty-four hours after being caught up in Wednesday's shooting at Parliament Hill, the Toronto Maple Leafs were back on the ice at their practice facility trying to get back to the business of playing hockey.

However, following an hour-plus on-ice workout on Thursday, it was clear the attack that saw 24-year-old Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lose his life was still weighing heavy on the players' minds.

"It's scary because the guy was what? 24-years-old? That's how old I am," said centre Nazem Kadri. "It definitely puts things into perspective and certainly way too young to go."

The Leafs were in the midst of normal game day preparations at the Westin Hotel, which adjoins the Rideau Centre mall across the street from the National War Memorial, when news of the shooting broke.

"Basically the TV was out our window, that was basically what had developed," Kadri said. "News cameras all outside and ambulances ? basically what was on the TV was right outside our window. We kind of got a double dose of it."

Head coach Randy Carlyle was at the Rideau Centre when he heard of the news.

"Those are tough and trying situations that every individual has his own way of dealing with," he said. "How traumatic it was and how close it was ??? I guess it made us all aware we're all venerable in these situations."

Carlyle, who spent parts of six seasons in Pittsburgh as a player, added the Penguins' decision to sing the Canadian anthem prior to their game Wednesday night shows the closeness of the hockey community.

"That's the hockey world, it's one big family and when things like that do take place it shows the unity that the league does possess," he said. "Its' a great tribute on behalf of the Pittsburgh hockey club and their fans."

Forward Joffrey Lupul had a view of the situation from his hotel room window.

"We were watching it unfold on TV and could see a little bit from our hotel room," Lupul said. "As a Canadian it's something that you don't expect to happen. It caught me off guard and the first little while was just kind of surreal and then we started seeing it unfold on TV."

The scheduled game for Wednesday night between the Leafs and Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre was eventually postponed. It has since been rescheduled for Nov. 9 ??? two days before Remembrance Day.

"We weren't allowed to leave the hotel so it was pretty hard to imagine playing at that point," Lupul said. "I think that was probably in Ottawa the last thing on people's minds.

"There's time throughout the year and we'll make up the game. Hopefully be able to do something special on that night to honour some of the heroes from (Wednesday)."

Lupul is part of an initiative with the Leafs called "Lupe's Troops," which provides tickets, jerseys and food at every home game to current members of the Canadian Forces.

Wednesday's news hits closer to home for the Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., native.

"Just like anyone in this room, our hearts go out to the solider that lost his life and I understand he has a young child and that's tough to hear about," Lupul said. "Obviously the troops are at every game and hopefully we'll be able to do something a little special Saturday.

"I know that the people will give them a pretty good reaction Saturday."

The Leafs resume their regular season schedule Saturday when the Boston Bruins visit. The team hasn't released plans as of yet, but says it will recognize Wednesday's tragedy prior to the opening faceoff.

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