Calm, cool, collected

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:37 PM ET


 Entering the Maple Leafs dressing room on the eve of playoffs, one is used to hearing grunge, punk or hip hop blasting from the stereo to pump up spirits.

 Would you believe Bryan Adams? And an apologetic club official turned him down so interviews could be conducted. This is indeed the new Leafs, or new old Leafs if you prefer, a team stacked with Stanley Cup winners and finallists who aren't about to go off the rails fretting about Game 1.

 "We're not fighting in Iraq here; it's a hockey game," Alex Mogilny said. "We're level headed, on and off the ice. A lot of times with younger teams, you'll find they try and change things when they go into playoffs, step away from what has made them successful in the regular season. Maybe they start pressing too much."

 Since the start of the year, the Leafs have added the likes of Ken Klee, Bryan Marchment, Joe Nieuwendyk, Brian Leetch, Ron Francis and Calle Johansson, spanning hundreds of playoff games.

 "That's why they were brought here," winger Tom Fitzgerald said. "(Management) had the confidence to believe that their game could go where it had before. This is not a rah-rah dressing room, but when certain people talk, we all listen."

 Mogilny, however, warns not to take all this as a guarantee of a fourth consecutive series win over the Ottawa Senators.

 "Don't underestimate those guys," he said. "It starts 0-0 and it will be a tough series."

 Had fate been kinder to the Leafs, they would have drawn the Montreal Canadiens in the first round and been the clearer favourites. But many expect pick Ottawa to take the series to six or seven games, the longer it goes giving the Sens confidence and working against the older Leafs.

 "We try not to think about that," Mogilny said. "But as (Gary) Roberts said the other day, it's maybe better for us to start against what's arguably the best team in the East. We're up for it."


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