Leafs take their dads on the road

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (R) reacts after Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk scores a...

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (R) reacts after Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk scores a goal against Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer (L) and Maple Leafs left wing Clarke MacArthur in the third period of their NHL hockey game in Boston, Massachusetts December 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Rob Longley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:21 AM ET

BOSTON - The Leafs’ fathers’ trip will continue in Manhattan over the next two days beginning with a special outdoor practice at Central Park’s Trump Lasker Rink.

Other visiting NHL teams have skated at the outdoor facility in the past and the Leafs were looking for another added treat for the fathers who charted with the team to Boston following Friday’s practice.

The team went out to dinner here in Boston, capped off with each father being presented with a Leafs’ jersey with their son’s name and number.

“It’s been great for them,” said Leafs defenceman Cody Franson. “I’m sure my dad and every other dad was thrilled with the way things were taken care of for them. They’ve been enjoying it with us and they all got their kid’s jersey so it’s been a lot of fun.”

Leafs coach Ron Wilson feels the trip is an important thank-you for the players.

“It’s good for the dads, but I want our players to appreciate that they do have a dad who can watch them and all of the support,” Wilson said. “You don’t get to this level without the support of your parents. And that’s the one big, strong thing in hockey, because it’s certainly a financial burden, and a time burden as well.

“You’ve got all those 5 o’clock practices, and you’ve got to get to the rink and your parents are completely dedicated to your love of hockey because they have the same thing, and they share their passion with their sons.”

BACK TO BEANTOWN

Leafs centre Joe Colborne made his first appearance in Boston since being dealt to Toronto in the Tomas Kaberle trade last February

While obviously not the flashpoint that Phil Kessel is, Colborne expected an odd feeling at the TD Garden.

“It was kind of bittersweet,” Colborne said of following the Bruins’ Cup run. “You know all those guys and know what they went through and they deserved the reward for all the hard work they put in, especially after the tough Philadelphia series the year before. It was definitely hard to watch.”

SPEED KILLS

Like most coaches the Leafs have faced this season, Claude Julien has been impressed with the speed the team has shown up front.

And after seeing a little too much of it on Wednesday night, the Bruins bench boss was hoping to slow that down in Saturday’s rematch. -

Even though the Bruins were 6-3 winners in that last meeting in Toronto, Julien felt the game was a little too wide-open for his liking. So expect the Stanley Cup champs to bring a tight-checking effort in Saturday’s rematch.

“We want to play them a little tighter,” Julien said. “Certain teams are good skating teams and the more you give them, the better the are. Toronto is one of those teams you have to adjust to.”

QUICK HITS

With James Reimer making his return to action in the Leafs net, Ben Scrivens returned to the AHL Marlies on Saturday. Scrivens had a 2-4-1 record with the Leafs with a 2.96 goals against average ... Boston went with former Leaf Tuukka Rask in net ... Kessel, who once again was a target of the Beantown boo-birds, played in his 400th NHL game on Saturday ... With Keith Aulie a scratch, Cody Franson returned to the lineup vs. the Bruins.

 


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