January 22, 2013
Leafs coach: Respect needs to be earned
By DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency

It's tradition that the 48th Highlanders perform on the ice before a Leafs home opener — but usually not in January. (MICHAEL PEAKE/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle told media on Monday morning after his team had skated in preparation for its home opener against the Buffalo Sabres that he is looking to restore some shine to the once-proud franchise.

The Maple Leafs have fallen a long way since their glory days, not winning a Stanley Cup since 1967 and not having made the playoffs since 2004.

Carlyle said bringing back some respectability to the team can be used as a strong motivational tool.

“It’s something that cannot be talked about, it’s something that has to be earned night in, night out,” Carlyle said of gaining respect from around the league.

“What we’ve tried to do is focus on more of the process versus the result. If the individuals that are out there performing and competing win their share of one-on-one battles, win the puck battles, block more shots, execute to a higher level, and make less mistakes, then your chances of winning go up.

“We have to walk the walk here.”



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