|Francois Beauchemin and Mikhail Grabovski during practice. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - The Leafs are taking the patient approach rather than panic to break a long losing streak.
Through good games and bad, the team has now dropped eight in a row, matching the skidding start to the disastrous 2009-10 season.
Like his players, coach Ron Wilson knows there is an urgency, starting with Tuesday’s game against the Nashville Predators at the Air Canada Centre. But at the same time, he’s not banging his head against the wall and reading the riot act to his young team.
“Yelling and screaming with a really young group absolutely doesn’t do any good at all,” Wilson said after Monday’s practice at the Mastercard Centre. “All it does is it creates a lot of anxiousness and nervousness. We’re trying to be calm and practice on the things that we have to get better at.”
Forward Kris Versteeg said the players have remained positive throughout the losing streak in the belief that the good bounces will come sooner than later.
“We know what we can do to get out of this and it’s hard work,” Versteeg said. “Luck comes from hard work and we have to remember that.”
Though he’s still a few weeks from returning to the lineup, Leafs forward Colby Armstrong skated on his own before the practice. Not that he’s a huge difference from a production standpoint, but the Leafs haven’t won in the eight games Armstrong has been out.
“You wish you could be out there, battling with the guys,” said Armstrong, who is recovering from surgery to his hand. “It feels like forever I’ve been out. I’m anxious to get back.”
In other news, Wilson said goaltender J-S Giguere will get a third consective start in the Leafs net.