Paul Maurice does not want any help from down below.
If the Maple Leafs are going to get out of the mess they have created, their coach wants it to happen without reinforcements from the Toronto Marlies.
"We have talked about it, but I like the guys in this room to go through it," Maurice said.
"We're going to move ice time around and have different people get an opportunity they haven't. We will see John Pohl play a little more, change the power-play units a little bit, and if you struggle five-on-five, maybe we won't use you five-on-four," he said.
A day after suggesting publicly that some Marlies might be summoned if he thought they could help, general manager John Ferguson said via e-mail last night he and Maurice simply want "to get our team back on track."
Have both men concluded there is no one with the Marlies who could make an impact? Perhaps. The obvious choices would be Erik Westrum, Boyd Devereaux or Tyson Nash, all of whom have degrees of National Hockey League experience.
But the Leafs need to re-discover their touch around the net. In seven games without a win, Toronto has been shut out once and in four losses have scored one goal.
Westrum has proven he can tear up the American Hockey League but has one goal in 25 NHL games. Devereaux has 10 points in 25 games with the Marlies, but just four goals. Nash did not score in 50 games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season.Providing a spark and producing are not the same.
"We need to go through this, fight through it, stick together and all of those other cliches," Maurice said. "(A shakeup) is an easy out. I would like this group to stay just as it is."
And besides, Maurice said, Leafs veterans still are getting adjusted to the way he does things.
"We have probably done a lot more behind closed doors in terms of meetings and conversations and video," Maurice said. "It's quite a bit different than what they were used to (under Pat Quinn)."