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The Leafs were at Ricoh Coliseum for an open practice on Sunday morning, and a few hundred fans showed up to watch prior to the Marlies taking on the Binghamton Senators in the afternoon.

Toronto's relatively light schedule continues this week with home games tomorrow against the Islanders and Thursday against the Rangers. They then play the Flyers in Philadelphia on Saturday.

As an aside, it's amazing how less condensed the NHL is this season compared to last year with the Olympic break.

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Tyler Bozak took a puck in the ear and left the ice quickly at practice, but coach Ron Wilson said that he'll be fine. He was holding a big ice pack up to the side of his head when I saw him afterwards, but he didn't talk to the media.

Defenceman Brett Lebda, meanwhile, is recovered from a shoulder injury and will likely play against the Isles tomorrow in Carl Gunnarsson's spot on the third defence pairing.

"I hope we go out there and get the two points," Lebda said, joking that he didn't want to jinx his new team's hot streak. "If I go in there and we lose, I don't know what's going to happen. No, but it's been fun. We're been playing well and we got it going right now. It's been good to get these points early on because later we're going to need them.

"It's terrible [not playing] I hate sitting there and waiting and watching. But it's part of the game. I think the fact that I took a little time now, it is going to be better in the long run."

Wilson said he hasn't decided he will definitely put Lebda in, but said that if the veteran does play his first game as a Leaf, he would be paired with Mike Komisarek. Given the way Gunnarsson has struggled (and was benched in Friday's win over the Rangers), however, this is probably a no-brainer.

And, finally, here's captain Dion Phaneuf on his team's hot start:

"We're happy with our start. We've played some good hockey. We know we've got lots of work to do but with saying that it's a real good start for our team. We're building every night, we want to keep getting better every night and the biggest thing is as a goal at the start of the year is we want to keep improving and that doesn't change whether we're 4-0 or our record's any different. So we want to keep getting better every day and we've got to keep just going and starting tomorrow again.

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"The biggest thing is we're playing as a team, we're doing what works for our group. And we know how we have to play. And when we do that, we're a tough team to beat. Night in, night out, we want to be the hardest working team on the ice and I think we've done that the first four games. We have to carry that over to Monday."

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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