Busy time for Buds

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

If the NHL season is a marathon, then the Leafs are getting ready to go up a steep hill.

Following a relatively slow period in the schedule, which saw the Leafs play only two games in nine days, the blue and white now get ready for some tough holiday sledding, if you will.

Starting last night at home against the New Jersey Devils, the Leafs face the prospect of five games in only eight days, with three of those coming on a trip which begins tomorrow in Boston, followed by games in Pittsburgh on Saturday and Atlanta on Monday. The Leafs then fly home from the deep south after the game against the Thrashers for a home game on Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, before getting two days off for the Christmas break.

RE-ENERGIZED

"We're re-energized (from last week) and we're going to have to be, we have a tough week ahead of us -- games every other day. And then finish back to back," coach Ron Wilson said yesterday, following the morning skate at the Air Canada Centre. "And then, following the break, we have to jump right into the fire again (on the road against the New York Islanders on Dec. 26). So I think we've built up our energy and hopefully we'll use it properly this week."

LUXURY

During last week's lull in the schedule, Wilson was able to give his squad two days off (following a three-game Western Conference swing the week before) and also was able to practise four times, which is a luxury in today's NHL.

"It's always nice when you have the opportunity to get a little rest and get a few practices in, get some flow back into your practices and some blood back into your legs," forward John Mitchell said. "Everybody enjoys the time off. We have a stretch of games coming up here, but I think we're ready for it."


Videos

Photos