Maple Leafs dealing with HBO 24/7 distraction

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Coach Randy Carlyle gets his microphone adjusted by the HBO 24/7...

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Coach Randy Carlyle gets his microphone adjusted by the HBO 24/7 film crew at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Dec. 4, 2013. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI Agency)

Lance Hornby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:05 AM ET

TORONTO - Three letters on everyone’s lips at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday: HBO.

How ’Bout Offence? would have been a better acronym than Home Box Office. Or Hey, Beat Opposition would have worked too.

The injury-plagued, goal-challenged Maple Leafs not only must find a way to score more in coming days, but do it under the constant watch of a film crew recording the countdown to the Winter Classic.

Monday was a test for players, coaches and cameramen alike as a revolving cast of Leafs came and went during a 90-minute practice.

A sports medicine documentary might make more sense to shoot at this stage, with as many as four front-line players possibly missing Thursday’s game against Dallas.

In the course of practice, leading scorer Phil Kessel suddenly bolted down the runway, about the same time Joffrey Lupul made his scheduled exit as he recovers from a groin strain. Injured players already absent from practice included centre Tyler Bozak (MRI for an upper body injury) and Colton Orr (elbow).


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