NHL

Scoreboard-watching Leafs say focus remains on their games

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TSN.ca Staff
3/25/2011 10:49:06 PM
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Scoreboard watching happens every year. Teams on the outside of the playoff picture and looking in not only have to focus on their own games, but also the teams close to them in the standings, hoping for a little help to sneak into the post-season.

With the Toronto Maple Leafs sitting in 10th-place in the Eastern Conference - five points behind eighth-place Buffalo - they'll be spending the rest of the season with one eye on the task at hand, and the other on the out-of-town scoreboard.

"You have to watch. You have to be aware of what's going on," said Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't watching what's going on or what the scores are, but if the teams that you're chasing win, you're not on the floor thinking it's the end of the world."

Like Phaneuf, rookie goalie James Reimer said that scoreboard watching is something players can't get too stressed out over.

"It's one of those things that you can't control so you can't get too riled up about it," said Reimer. "It is disappointing when they win and it's great when they lose, but it's nothing you can control so you can't lose too much sleep over it."

"You can stare at a scoreboard and no matter what you think, it's not going to change," echoed Leafs head coach Ron Wilson. "We are just trying to figure out how to win as many games, if not all the games, down the stretch."

The Leafs maintain their focus is on winning as many games as they can. Even if everything goes their way on the out-of-town scoreboard, it doesn't mean much if they don't take care of the task at hand. 

"We have to win our games. That's the bottom line. We do that and I think we'll put ourselves in a real good position," said Phaneuf.

The Leafs, who have been playing well of late, have put together a solid road trip, winning their first two games heading in Saturday's tilt with Detroit.

There's definitely been some momentum generated here, especially on this road trip," said defenceman Mike Komisarek. "The last game on the road trip is always the toughest – it doesn't get any tougher than playing the Red Wings – but we definitely have a bit of momentum.

"Guys are playing with a lot of confidence."

And while everyone is saying the right things - that their sole focus is on the next game, and they don't put too much effort into scoreboard watching - a couple of players pointed out one player in particular as the guy who will take Buffalo's 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday the hardest.

"Probably Dion," said Komisarek. "He's always pretty angry and vocal and loud. That would be my guess. You probably don't want to be sitting next to him because your ears are going to be ringing from yelling."

Dion Phaneuf (Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
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