The Ottawa Senators had best beware when they face the Maple Leafs in a pair of pre-season games this week.
After all, Toronto is already fighting mad.
On Monday, teammates Mike Komisarek and Jay Rosehill squared off during a Toronto scrimmage, which is a sure sign that some NHL competition will be welcome for the Leafs after four intense days of training camp.
"You're not going out there trying to hurt each other, but guys are definitely battling and competing, and stuff that you like to see this time of year going into camp, going into pre-season," explained Komisarek. "Coming off the summer, guys are just sick of shinny hockey, let's go out and play the game the way it's supposed to be played."
For head coach Ron Wilson, the sight of a tussle between two of his own players means that his team is establishing an intense physical style of play with just over two weeks to go before the regular season begins.
"We're asking all of our players to be physical within the rules, and they've responded in kind," said Wilson. "Jay didn't start it, it was all Mike Komisarek, and Jay did the right thing and Mike did the right thing, so I don't worry about stuff like that."
Following a 29th-place overall finish last season, the Leafs had an organization-wide dinner prior to training camp, in which the main message stressed was to get down to business.
"It's been three really good days, the scrimmages have been very intense, which is what we want as a group," said newly-installed captain Dion Phaneuf. "No one's happy where we finished as an organization last year and we want to get off to a good start, and that starts right from the first day of camp and it's carried over for the first three, so it's good to (play some pre-season games) now."
Wilson is planning to make cuts by the weekend that will trim the training camp roster to 26 or 27 players. He'll have plenty of opportunity to evaluate his players with Toronto playing on five consecutive nights beginning Tuesday.
"This isn't a babysitting service or a kindergarten where you have to give everybody a detailed explanation of why they're not on a team," said Wilson. "More than likely, each player knows why he's not on the team and we'll just move on."