Wilson wants short shifts

Leafs coach Ron Wilson would like to see shorter shifts from his top line. (QMI Agency/Michael...

Leafs coach Ron Wilson would like to see shorter shifts from his top line. (QMI Agency/Michael Peake)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:14 PM ET

NEW YORK - The first line is going to get their share of ice time so they don't have to worry about getting it all on one shift.

That was the message Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson had for his first unit of Phil Kessel, Kris Versteeg and Tyler Bozak.

Wilson gathered the trio on the Madison Square Garden ice at Friday's game day skate to hammer home the point.

"When you get tired, it's debilitating, especially by the third period," Wilson said in advance of Friday's game against the New York Rangers. "Shorten the shifts, it's simple."

The line was held to just one shot on goal in Wednesday's 4-3 win over Pittsburgh.

"We have to find a way to get back to our game and contribute offensively," Versteeg.

JS Giguere will be back in net for his third start of the season after leading the Leafs to two home wins.

It promised to be an electric atmosphere at MSG for the Rangers home opener. The Broadway Blueshirts are playing for just the third time and have a 1-1 record.

The Leafs, meanwhile, are looking to start 4-0 for the first time since 1999.

"It's one of the greatest atmospheres in the league," Giguere said.


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