TORONTO — The day after a punishing playoff game that featured 99 hits, burly Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser was feeling it.
Not that he was complaining. Still it had to hurt a little more, given that Boston won Monday night’s game 5-2 to regain the upper hand in the series. The Bruins lead 2-1 going into Game 4 tonight.
Despite the pain, the 26-year-old Fraser was in a good mood at yesterday’s skate.
“Sometimes you might feel a bump or a bruise and you’re not even sure how you got it,” the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder said after practice.
After a night when Boston outhit Toronto 51-49, Fraser was asked if he leapt out of bed yesterday to head to the rink.
“Actually, today I did,” he said with a grin. “A big part of that has been the significant change of the weather, the sunshine.”
For Toronto coach Randy Carlyle, the summer-like day was a welcome reminder to his players that all is not lost, despite a second defeat in three games in their first playoff experience since 2004.
“I used to say everybody’s in doom and gloom, but the sun did come up today,” the coach said. “It was sunny out there.
“That would be the way we’d want to flush things and turn the page on it. Today’s a new day. Let’s start. Let’s build. Let’s focus. All those things are things that we try to provide.”
Carlyle and his coaching staff got a helping hand yesterday when the clocks in the dressing room malfunctioned. They were six minutes off, meaning a group of Leafs arrived on the ice late for practice. They were greeted with some good-natured derision from teammates who made it on time.
“You can’t change what happened and that can’t really be your focus on what today brought,” Carlyle said. “Today was about flushing what happened last night, recognizing what happened and then going into the preparation mode of tomorrow.