TORONTO - Ron Wilson has some advice for his goaltenders: Keep your gloves on.
With the recent spate of goalie fights, not including the tussle the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Brent Johnson had with forward Micheal Haley of the New York Islanders, Wilson does not want his guys getting any funny ideas.
“I have told our goalies if a skater comes down the ice, don’t drop your stick,” Wilson said. “I don’t expect our goalie to be in a fight for any reason at all.”
Naturally, Wilson reserved judgment on the Penguins/Islanders brawl from a coach’s point of view. Though some might suggest that a coach should have better control of his player in that situation, Wilson said it’s a lot more complex.
“Sometimes as a coach you think you are in control, and you are not of situations like that when emotions really take over in a game,” Wilson said. “You can’t be. The fire started and the fire extinguisher is empty.
“I don’t know sometimes how much a coach can control. That’s why you did not see coaches get suspended. Players took actions upon themselves.
“I have never gone into the room and said we have to even the score or anything like that.”
Brown on ice
Forward Mike Brown skated for the first time since he suffered a shoulder injury on Feb. 1 in a game against the Florida Panthers.
Brown did not practise for much more than 20 minutes, but for him, that was good enough.
“I felt pretty good,” Brown said. “It’s getting better every day, but I could not give you a time line (on a return). Hopefully soon, just have to wait for the trainers’ word.”
Wilson said there were no updates on Colby Armstrong (blurred vision) or Colton Orr (concussion).
Joffrey Lupul, acquired from the Anaheim Ducks last Wednesday, was glad Leafs players had the day off on Sunday. It gave him a chance to catch his breath.
“Shopping, find a condo, stuff like that,” Lupul said of his hectic off-day. “It’s a big change when you come in from somewhere quick but right now I am feeling a lot more comfortable than I was three or four days ago. It’s good to have some of those things out of the way off the ice. Now I can concentrate 100% on this trip.”
Wilson would not indicate whether James Reimer or Jean-Sebastien Giguere would start in goal on Tuesday night. But the one that does not, Wilson said, will play in Buffalo against the Sabres on Wednesday ... Giguere, in a general sense, on guys who might be worried about being traded: “Work hard and do your job. It will not change if you get traded. We get well paid and no one should complain if it happens.”