Players taking to new coach

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

They've survived their first training camp under Paul Maurice and the Maple Leafs are taking a liking to him.

And they've noticed the differences from Pat Quinn.

"Pat was more of a players' coach who let us police ourselves," defenceman Bryan McCabe said. "(Maurice) is starting to hold guys accountable to the system right away. Nobody is going to get away with anything, including myself, Mats (Sundin), Darcy (Tucker). We do something wrong and we are going to hear about it. That's how you learn.

"It's how you build trust in a group atmosphere and we are starting to build it in this room. He is an intense guy, straightforward, very well-prepared."

When it gets right down it, being held accountable and seeing teammates put up against the same barometer is all players ask for. Can Maurice go wrong in his players' eyes if he approaches Sundin, the captain, the same way as he would a player trying to break down the door such as John Pohl?

Pohl played for Maurice with the Toronto Marlies last season and credited the coach for getting his career back on track. Pohl, who has earned a spot with the Leafs, wants nothing more than to show his coach he was right.

"Last year, I don't think everyone liked the way they were used, but I bet you to a man everyone respected him and the decisions he made, and that is a big compliment," Pohl said. "Absolutely, without question, he was respected."

On the ice, the Leafs say they're getting comfortable with the regimen put forth by Maurice but realize there is much work to be done.

LEARNING

"We're still learning to make good passes and good decisions when we are skating faster and moving quicker on the ice," Sundin said. "We're moving in the right direction. As camp went on, we were getting better and better.

"I think we are a better team starting this year. We addressed our weaknesses over the summer."


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