Michael Peca has an idea where some prognosticators can put their predictions that the Maple Leafs will not make the playoffs.
"I was on a team last year that in was the same position so you know what I think about that stuff," Peca said.
Peca was with an Edmonton Oilers club that was not supposed to do much, and had the Vancouver Canucks not collapsed in the final days of the regular season, probably would not have made the playoffs. Instead, the Oilers took the Carolina Hurricanes to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
Of the four teams that competed in the conference finals last season, none were in the playoffs in the season before the lockout.
For the Leafs to have more success, they will have to be improved when killing penalties. Overall, Toronto was 24th in penalty killing in 2005-06. Peca should help greatly.
"It's part of the game I enjoy," Peca said. "There is a responsibility that goes along with it. You take it on as a challenge."
A NEW LOOK
One of coach Paul Maurice's obvious changes was the new seating plan in the dressing room at the Air Canada Centre.
The goalies bookend the defencemen in one row of lockers, while forwards have one main wall and a smaller one to themselves. Under Pat Quinn, there was no order, other than the goalies had the smaller wall to themselves.
Matt Stajan now sits where Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph once did.
"It's definitely different sitting where Eddie sat," Stajan said with a smile. "The coach didn't want to walk into the room and be looking at a goalie, so now he gets me and Kyle (Wellwood, Stajan's neighbour). I'm not going to complain. I have a seat in the Maple Leafs dressing room and that is good enough for me."
Don't be surprised if rookie defenceman Jay Harrison is claimed off waivers if the Leafs try to send him to the Marlies. One club with lots of interest in the 23-year-old is the Carolina Hurricanes ... On the Marlies roster is bruising forward Kip Brennan, a veteran of 58 NHL games, including 12 last season with the Anaheim Ducks.