The Leafs took to the ice today in preparation for Martin Brodeur tomorrow night. It featured some interesting one on one drills for a few key players, and one defenceman who claims the future of his career and the Maple Leafs would be better suited if he were traded.
Luke Schenn spent the duration of the practice firing shot after shot on net. He is doing all that he can to improve his accuracy and the speed of his shot in order to be a significant factor on the point for potential powerplay minutes. He hopes to become the go to guy when in on the offensive, and his stand up plays to take the body on the pinch could prove to be a deadly combination if the young defenceman can maintain his confidence.
Stempniak spent the duration of practice with Keith Acton. He received saucer passes, weak and hard feeds for the one-timer. He is working on his accuracy and was encouraged not to be afraid to just fire the puck. Stempniak’s confidence is at a low right now, but Acton feels that with enough work ethic, he could start picking corners with ease, instead of the crest.
Nikolai Kulemin and John Mitchell exchanged positions in front of the net working on their tipping skills. They both feel they can be a strong body presence in the slot and want to find ways to do everything they possibly can to make it hell for the goaltenders and the opposing defencemen.
Mike Komisarek is undergoing tests today to see if he can suit up tomorrow night against New Jersey. He has been out for just under a month with an upper-body injury.
Garnet Exelby is expected to suit up in place of Jeff Finger tomorrow night, but Exelby had more to say regarding his position with the club. Reports suggest he told reporters that he feels a trade to another club would be better suited for his career. He hopes the Leafs could get as much as possible for him and that the return will be just as beneficial for Toronto as his movement to another team would be for him.
Leafs Lines in Practice:
Nikolai Kulemin – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Niklas Hagman – Matt Stajan – Alexei Ponikarovsky
Jason Blake – Rickard Wallin – Lee Stempniak
Colton Orr – Jamal Mayers – Jay Rosehill
Wayne Primeau – John Mitchell
Tomas Kaberle – Luke Schenn
Francois Beauchemin – Ian White
Carl Gunnarsson – Mike Komisarek
Garnet Exelby – Jeff Finger
Jonas Gustavsson – Vesa Toskala
Micheal A. Aldred