Leafs Report

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

I'M OK, YOU'RE OK

Several corners of the Leafs' dressing room sounded like a collective of Southern TV evangelists yesterday, trying to convince themselves and a group of media to keep the faith.

The Leafs brought their 3-11-5 act here from another one-goal defeat in Ottawa, with a great chance to back up their words with a win tonight against the equally sputtering Hurricanes.

"You've got to believe it will happen for us this year," said winger Jason Blake, who is stuck on two goals. "You can only talk about it so much. We have to get pucks on net and then little things will become big things."

As he has all season, Matt Stajan kept talking about turning the ship around until he was almost as exhausted from answering the questions as from practice itself.

"We're obviously aware of our situation," he said. "Maybe we have tried to do too much ourselves and not used each other enough. Sometimes, less is more.

Ian White, who has kept his numbers decent despite a general breakdown on defence in many games this year, had perhaps the most basic message of support.

"These are tough times for our team, but we have to stick together. Any day you get to live your dream is a good one, but not every day will be a success."

LOOSE LEAFS

The Leafs are on their way to the NHL record for a team that's allowed the first goal in the most games. It's shared by the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers and the 1992-93 Ottawa Senators, both falling behind early 57 times. Toronto has been beaten first in 17 of 19 games.

The Leafs tried some levity at practice yesterday, going with a giant game of pond hockey involving all 22 players and most of the coaching staff...The Leafs have 11 road power-play goals, the most in the Eastern Conference.


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