You might expect practice on Wednesday to be quite tense following two straight losses at home, but it was quite the opposite. Coach Boucher started with a good work out, and ended it with some fun. The guys had a much needed fun day, relieving some of the pressure that has been on them lately. Sometimes that is just what they need.
The Toronto Maple Leafs dominated The Tampa Bay Lightning in Tuesday night’s game. Fans were unhappy, but Coach Boucher says it’s not time to panic yet. After the game he and GM Steve Yzerman were quite late leaving, as they had a lot of things to talk over. Coach Boucher could have lead the guys into a tough practice this morning, pointing fingers, and ripping the team’s spirit. He could have yelled and made them do tough drills, push ups, or even have a skate day, where their legs get so tired it’s more of punishment than a practice. But he didn’t. They all went onto the ice in good moods. The coaching staff lead a good practice with some drills and a good work out. Nothing tense, just what needed to be worked on.
Practice quickly turned light hearted and fun when Coach Boucher had the guys play in an exhibition game. The guys don’t need added stress by dwelling on what went wrong last night and the game before. Of course they will review video. You can well bet the coaches are flooding themselves with reviewing plays and videos, and will address the issues with the players on Friday. In my opinion, maybe part of the reason for the loss of momentum was the stress of the pressure to play up to everyone’s expectations against one of the best teams in the division. They needed to loosen up and relax today.
After they faced off in an exhibition game with goals moved in close distance, they closed the goals in even tighter and had another game. It ended up with everyone having a great time, the blue team winning, and them calling the equipment managers and athletic trainers onto the ice with a Gatorade-over-the-head celebration. Everyone left in good moods, and ready to take on the Thanksgiving holiday. Friday they will be back to working hard at practice, preparing to take on The Florida Panthers.