by Amy Moritz
The busy day of hockey news at First Niagara Center continued this afternoon as the Toronto Maple Leafs practiced here, flying to Buffalo directly from their game Wednesday in Minnesota.
And there was no bulletin board material from Leafs coach Randy Carlyle about the first meeting between the Leafs and Sabres since their infamous preseason brawl in the Air Canada Centre.
"It happened a long time ago," Carlyle said. "It's things like that we don't like to remember. We're just trying to move on from that. We're here to play a hockey game that's going to give us the best chance for success and they're a hockey club that wants to show its new coach what they're made of. It should make for an exciting time."
Carlyle said while the Sabres' coaching and front office moves are surprising, he thinks the Leafs will see an energized Sabres team competing for positions.
"We know that there will be a different face behind the bench and there will be motivation for players from the Buffalo side to make a first impression," Carlyle said. "I've been in that situation with this hockey club here in Toronto myself. It's a nervous time for the coach but I'm sure again his message and the organization's message has been sent. There is going to be responsibility put on the players. When firings and dismissals and change in coaches, change in general managers happen it is a shock to the organization and the people involved at the ice-level specifically."
Carlyle said center Nazem Kadri had his disciplinary hearing with the league office via phone at 1 p.m. Kadri was on the ice for practice afterward and the team doesn't expect to hear until later today if Kadri will receive a suspension for his hit last night on Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom.
"The league has a criteria they uphold in these situations," Carlyle said. "Sometimes they go in your favor and sometimes they don't. I've learned a long time ago that you can never predict and you never criticize."
taggedToronto Maple Leafs