TORONTO - Following a somewhat predictable letdown in Carolina on Thursday night – a 4-1 loss that snapped a season high six-game winning streak - the Leafs began what would be a relatively relaxed hour-long practice on Friday with a somewhat unpredictable activity. Right-handed shooting players held their sticks as lefties and left-handers held their sticks as righties. Everybody took the ice along with a couple of pucks and fun was had for five minutes or so. For head coach Randy Carlyle, there’s a method to this madness. “There’s a heavy workload coming so it can’t be all doom and gloom,” said Carlyle, whose team will play three games in four night beginning on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers before the Christmas break. “When you come to work, we believe that you have to come in a positive frame of mind. We met before [practice] and went over some video; we explained what we were seeing and how it has to change going forward. We find that if you can lighten up the start of practice a little bit, it usually is more productive and you get a more productive group coming [Saturday], which we feel is the most important day.” Players begrudgingly recalled some aspects of a disappointing loss to the Hurricanes when asked, but it was clear that the team’s focus was solely pointed at rebounding on Saturday night, their final home game before embarking on a seven game road trip that won’t see them back at Air Canada Centre until January 7 against the Washington Capitals. “It’s a long season and you’re not going to have your “A” game for all 82, unfortunately,” explained James van Riemsdyk. “That’s what you strive for, but realistically, that’s not what happens.You take it for what it’s worth and move on to get ready for the next one.” The challenge now for the Leafs is to ensure a poor result does not shake the confidence developed over a stretch that saw them earn 21 of a possible 24 points prior to the loss. Where at times earlier in the season, the Leafs would appear fragile in the face of adversity, letting poor starts in games against Pittsburgh, Detroit and Boston snowball into one-sided defeats or allowing the quality of their play to erode from game to game to game in losses to Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Nashville in mid-November, Dion Phaneuf insisted the team has moved beyond those dark days. “[The media] want to look back on the past and the negatives of our year and I respect that. Thats what you have to do. You have to ask those questions,” Phaneuf acknowledged. “But for us as a team, we have to focus on [Saturday]. We can sit here and say we got beat in Carolina and hang our heads and mope and pout, but that doesnt do any good. We have to come back, we have to be focused, we have to be ready to play Philadelphia. Weve got a big weekend ahead of us here. We have to respond the right way and I believe well do that.” Perhaps the most reassuring message the Leafs have delivered this season is an acknowledgement of deficient areas in their play when ugly habits have cropped up. Throughout the 10-1-1 run that ended with Thursday’s loss, there were wins against the Tampa Bay Lightning and a pair against the Detroit Red Wings that perfectly illustrated the desired style the coaching staff is consistently pleading for. However, recently the Leafs have returned to a heavier reliance on spectacular goaltending and high octane offence in order to see success. “We can’t start the way that we started [against Carolina] or the game previous [against Anaheim],” said Phaneuf. “We’re giving up too many shots in the first period, we’re receiving the game too much. That’s on us as players to be more prepared to start games.” Saturday’s match up will be the first of the season for the Leafs against the struggling Flyers, winners of just three of their last 10 games. While Philly sits eight points out of a playoff spot, the Leafs learned the hard way on Thursday that no game is a given anymore. “We know what they’re capable of over there and it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, any team can beat any team if you’re not ready to go,” said van Riemsdyk. PRACTICE NOTES Komarov Skates Leo Komarov skated with strength and conditioning coach Anthony Belza prior to practice on Friday for about 20 minutes. It marked just the second time Komarov had skated since taking a hit to the head from Alexander Ovechkin on November 29. But despite missing nine games thus far, his return is still uncertain. “Its the first step back into the process that a player returning needs to be testing himself both in the gym and on the ice, said Carlyle. Other than that, hes in testing mode.” Carlyle Assesses Jake Gardiner Jake Gardiner has had an up and down season to this point, but this past week has arguably been his toughest stretch. A pair of mistakes on Sunday against the LA Kings directly led to two goals against. On Thursday against Carolina, Gardiner was unable to tie up Chris Terry at the top of the crease despite being in good position. Terry tapped in a pass from Eric Staal to get the Hurricanes on the board first. Asked about Gardiner’s play of late, head coach Randy Carlyle was succinct in his assessment, “I think Jakes been very erratic, simple as that.” Already a healthy scratch twice this season in consecutive games (wins against the New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche in October) and now with seven defencemen healthy once again, could Gardiner be sat in favour of Korbinian Holzer with back-to-back games this weekend against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday? Polak Returns Roman Polak played 18:58 in his return to the line-up on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes after missing the past 10 games with a knee injury. He admitted on Friday that the long stretch of time off left him feeling somewhat behind in terms of game speed. “Of course, I didn’t have any practice with the boys; I was skating a lot on my own,” Polak explained after practice. “Ten games out, you can feel it; it was like three-and-a-half weeks or so. You feel a little slow out there, my reads are maybe not as accurate as you did before. You need a couple games to get back into shape and the groove that you were in before.” But other than being a little sore and tired on Friday, Polak declared himself all good. New Look Lines Randy Carlyle shuffled his forward lines against the Hurricanes in an effort to spark some offense after a lacklustre first period. Those same lines remained intact at practice on Friday. “I thought we were getting we were getting a little bit more from that group and who knows, we could change it back tomorrow,” said Carlyle. “We don’t know if we’re going to go with that specifically but we liked what we saw last night.” NEW LINES Left Wing Centre Right Wing Joffrey Lupul Tyler Bozak Phil Kessel James van Riemsdyk Nazem Kadri Mike Santorelli Daniel Winnik Peter Holland David Clarkson Richard Panik Trevor Smith David Both OLD LINES Left Wing Centre Right Wing James van Riemsdyk Tyler Bozak Phil Kessel Daniel Winnik Nazem Kadri Mike Santorelli Joffrey Lupul Peter Holland David Clarkson Richard Panik Trevor Smith David Booth Dan Hampton Jersey . Anor had not scored since getting his first two goals of the season vs. Philadelphia on March 22 but struck with laser precision from distance in the 56th and 75th minutes. Montreal (3-10-5) lost its third straight and Impact coach Frank Klopas said it literally was a case of his players not stepping up. Dion Sims Jersey . Winnipeg trailed by five points in the final minute when quarterback Drew Willy completed a 13-play, 75-yard drive with Feoli-Gudinos 18-yard touchdown catch on third down to lift the Bombers to a 34-33 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night. http://www.officialchicagobearsfootball.com/authentic-mitchell-trubisky-jersey-womens . - A lot of scenarios ran through Terrell Suggs head when the Baltimore linebacker prepared to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sherrick McManis Jersey . Shot outdoors against the stunning backdrop of Banff, Alta., the networks 30-minute original production airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET on TSN2. The four All-Star teams will play for $100,000 in prize money during TSNs annual skins game, airing live this weekend on TSN from The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. Pat ODonnell Jersey . Toronto ended an 0-4-0 skid with Sundays shootout win over visiting New Jersey, but the club could have a difficult time making it two victories in a row tonight. The Maple Leafs have dropped three straight and 11 of the last 12 regular- season meetings against Boston overall and the Bruins have claimed six straight in Beantown. TORONTO -- Catcher Erik Kratz and left-handed Rob Rasmussen were acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday in a trade with the Phildealphia Phillies. Philadelphia gets right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in return. Kratz appeared in 68 games for the Phillies last season posting a .213 batting average with nine home runs and 26 runs batted in. The 33-year-old has a career average of .220 with 18 home runs and 53 RBIs over four seasons with the Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 24-year-old Rasmussen combined to post a 3-11 recoord with a 4.dddddddddddd11 earned-run average in 28 games, 24 starts between the double-A and triple-A affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The five-foot-nine, 160-pound Rasmussen struck out 113 batters in 135.2 innings pitched last season. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Michael Young on Aug. 31. Lincoln appeared in 22 games for Toronto in 2013 and was 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA. The right-hander has a career record of 9-11 with one save and a 4.66 ERA over 97 games, 22 starts for Toronto and Pittsburgh. 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