By Tony Ambrogio (@SNTonyAmbrogio)
Randy Carlyle isn’t afraid to put his stamp on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He has benched John-Michael Liles and Mike Komisarek.
He sent Jake Gardiner to the American Hockey League. He’s been playing rookie defencemen Mike Kostka and Mark Fraser big minutes.
He’s returned Nazem Kadri to centre, who has excelled on centering the 3rd line.
It’s all part of Carlyle’s plan to turn the Leafs into a bigger, tougher and more competitive team in the hopes of returning the club to the
playoffs for the first time since 2004.
“When you get into the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s a war,” said the head coach. “It’s a man’s game.”
Carlyle has talked in recent days about about how much tougher playoff hockey is. How important it is to win the 1-on-1 battles in the post
season. How the game is so different in the playoffs.
He did this a quarter of the way into the regular season.
Randy Carlyle is putting his stamp on his team.
“A lot of what we’re doing i