With news breaking last night that a majority stake in MLSE could go up for auction, several of the Toronto Maple Leafs players were asked after today's practice for their thoughts on the team's ownership situation.
Few had much to say on the subject, although Colby Armstrong seemed to like the idea when I suggested he put in a bid of his own.
"I'm going to start selling muffins and stuff I think on the side," he said of attempting to come up with the more than $1-billion purchase price. "On Bloor Street. Get yer muffins here! Army's muffins, not only on the ice, but off the ice."
Teammate Darryl Boyce was skeptical.
"I might buy one, that's it," he said. "I wouldn't trust eating two of them."
It was that kind of fun atmosphere at the practice rink today, with an optional skate and only 11 players on the ice (mostly the third and fourth liners and depth defencemen).
The Leafs are still riding a high after beating the Buffalo Sabres last night in as close to a must-win game as they've had this season, although they won't have much time to enjoy the victory with four games in six nights starting tomorrow at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The top liners got the day off practice after showing up in a big way last night, something those who were on the ice said they had no problem with.
"Top two lines brought it last night," Boyce said. "A well deserved day off. Us guys, our bread and butter is grinding it out, so we just got out there today and grinded out another practice."
"We definitely appealed to them last night to be our best players," assistant coach Tim Hunter said of his top players. "And I thought as the game went along, they slowly became that, and in the third period, they were."
I'll have more on the team's road ahead a little later today.
- Hunter said the team is expecting Tim Brent and Freddy Sjostrom to be back in the lineup tomorrow. Brent suffered an eye injury when hit with a high stick last night, while Sjostrom has been battling an upper-body injury that has been bothering him on and off this season. Brent wasn't at practice, but Sjostrom was and he said he's feeling better.
- It probably goes without saying at this point, but James Reimer will start for the 12th straight game.
- Tampa has really been strugging lately, winning only once in their last seven games and going 6-7-4 since Feb. 1 to lose the Southeast Division lead. The Lightning have beaten the Leafs in all three meetings this season, shutting them out twice.