Alex Steen had a quizzical look when the subject of Oct. 29 was broached yesterday.
"What about it?" the Maple Leafs rookie said. "It's nothing I am thinking about now, that's for sure."
Nearly six weeks have passed since the Leafs were creamed 8-0 by the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre, and it does not seem to be occupying their thoughts completely. However, ghosts from that night may creep into the Leafs' collective mindset if the Senators pop out to an early lead.
"It matters when it counts," defenceman Ken Klee said. "There are two points available and we need them. We have to focus on that and we can't be worried about the last time when they put it on us pretty good."
So what are the Leafs to do against this Ottawa club, one that went into a home game last night versus the Dallas Stars 11 points ahead of the Leafs and with just six losses in 28 games?
"We have to have some conviction in our game," said Darcy Tucker, who declared himself fit to play. "They're going to come in waves and we have to match that intensity, match their passion for scoring goals."
One thing the Senators apparently can count on is to be banged around by Tucker, who is not about to change his physical style. Avoiding the odd check or stopping short of hammering someone isn't going to happen, Tucker said.
"That's why you have medical people, to fix you up when you are broken," Tucker said. "I do my job and let them do theirs. I'll be back in for sure (against Ottawa).
There might have been a time when the Leafs would have pored over tape of the Senators' big victory at the end of October, but not now.
"It's not like a football schedule where you can rehash every play of every game because hockey is a game of mistakes," Klee said. "I could pick out mistakes on every team, it does not matter if it is the Senators or the Maple Leafs. Our game is read and react and we just have to be ready."
Leafs coach Pat Quinn said the club did not give a ton of thought to going into Ottawa early to beat the storm that has arrived in Ontario. The team was to fly this afternoon.
"Our information (as of early yesterday afternoon) is we're not going to get hit as it had been indicated,"Quinn said. "We try to stay on top of it so we don't get caught in a situation where you can't travel."