Is caffeine the answer?

Leaf coach Ron Wilson shares a laugh with Nik Antropov during practice on Monday. (Sun Media/Craig...

Leaf coach Ron Wilson shares a laugh with Nik Antropov during practice on Monday. (Sun Media/Craig Robertson)

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:25 PM ET

BOSTON -- Ron Wilson knows his young team isn't likely to be a bunch of comeback kids all season, so the Maple Leafs coach has a sarcastic plan to get his troops off to a quicker start tonight at the TD Banknorth Garden.

"I think I'll go over to Dunkin' Donuts and get a 10-cup box (of coffee) and place a few of them in the stalls of some of the guys," Wilson said jokingly of New England's answer to Tim Horton's. "Just to make sure they are ready."

The Leafs fully expect an energetic Bruins squad when they face off here against their Northeast Division rival for the second time in two weeks. In that previous meeting, Toronto rallied from a 2-0 deficit after the first period to score a 4-2 win. Since then the Leafs have pulled off similar comebacks against the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

In their past eight contests, the Leafs have erased a 2-0 deficit five times and in games in which they trailed 2-0, Toronto has posted a 3-0-2 mark.

"There's no doubt that they are one of the hardest working teams, if not the hardest," said Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who will get his fifth consecutive start tonight.

The Bruins, meanwhile, have been loading up on home cooking and serious practice time since they last played on Saturday. The Leafs have played twice since then -- home and away losses to Carolina.

"We know we have to come out strong in the first 10 minutes," Leafs forward Matt Stajan said. "We expect them to be ready for us tonight after what happened last time."

Looking to add a more physical presence on the blueline against the hard-hitting Bruins, Wilson will put defenceman Jonas Frogren back in the lineup and will sit Anton Stralman. Also scratched for the Leafs will be defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo and forward Ryan Hollweg.

QUICK HITS: The Bruins have been stingy on the penalty kill of late, surrendering just one power-play goal in their last four games ... Boston plays eight of 13 games at home in November after playing eight of 11 on the road in October ... With 217 blocked shots in 13 games, the Leafs lead the league in that category, 10 up on their nearest rival Pittsburgh. Pavel Kubina leads the Leafs with 28. On Tuesday against Carolina, the Leafs blocked more shots (25) than they allowed on net (24) ... The hard-working Leafs have outshot their opponents in their past nine contests and has average 37 per game in that span.


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