By all accounts, rookie defenceman Luke Schenn has avoided being awestruck with life in the NHL thus far. But the Saskatoon native allowed yesterday that he was looking forward to his first trip to the Big Apple.
"I went to (Long Island) to visit the Islanders before the draft, but I've never been to downtown Manhattan," Schenn said. "I'm really looking forward to it, that and to seeing Madison Square Garden."
Schenn, who continues to be praised by the coaching staff for his poise, said he is becoming more comfortable by the game.
"I feel confident out there, no question," the 18-year-old said following yesterday's practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena. "I know mistakes are going to happen, but you have to make sure it doesn't bring you down."
ON THE ROAD
Given the sometimes gruelling travel he had to endure while with San Jose, Leafs coach Ron Wilson laughs off the notion of back-to-back games in New York and Pittsburgh being a grind.
"The East Coast is a walk in the park with regards to travel," Wilson said. "It's a half an hour flight from New York to Pittsburgh so there will be no excuse. A younger team should better handle it. You just worry about the emotional ups and downs of a season."
Wilson is hoping that a few nights on the road will help foster some team bonding as the new faces on the roster continue to get to know each other.
"It's important for the guys (to get away as a team)," he said. "It will be interesting to see who takes charge when they are on the road and who makes sure that the team sticks together and that they get to know each other."
Given his full out participation in yesterday's practice, it is clear Jonas Frogren is ready to return to the lineup.
"It feels good actually, all I needed was a couple days of rest," Frogren said. "I'm looking forward to the next game, whether it's (tonight) or the next game."
Wilson said that Frogren's participation would be a game-time decision but after a loss to St. Louis on Monday, the coach acknowledged the team would welcome Frogren's physical presence.