By John Vogl
TORONTO -- The biggest unknown for tonight's game between Buffalo and Toronto is how the Sabres will respond to the firing of coach Lindy Ruff.
Will they be fired up and eager to show they can play?
Will they be too stunned to perform?
Will they just keep shuffling along as they've been doing and play like a 27th-place club?
The Maple Leafs are banking on the first option.
"Especially with a new coach coming in, they're going to be fired up and want to show him what they've got," forward Nazem Kadri said today in Air Canada Centre.
The Leafs have their own motivation: to make the playoffs. They haven't reached the postseason since 2004, but they are in position now. They are tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with 20 points from a 10-7 record. They are 5-2 in the last seven games.
Now they just have to hold off the Sabres.
"We know they're going to come hard," center Tyler Bozak said. "There's a lot of season left."
taggedToronto Maple Leafs