With Lupul missing practice today with what everyone suspects and Randy Carlyle dares not identify as a concussion, we're all left to wonder how the team plans to move forward (for now at least) without one of their top emotional and scoring leaders. Since we won't get access at the level of HBO's NHL 24/7 until next year, we can only speculate about what's being said in the dressing room.
Let me begin the discussion by speculating wildly. Here's my impression (or, if you will, overly dramatic representation) of events that may have occurred earlier today between Carlyle and the team following practice.
The Maple Leafs' dressing room. Enter MACARTHUR, PHANEUF, and MCCLEMENT as returning from practice. Music: a dead march.
MacArhur: How are we going to steady the boys after last night, Neuf?
Phaneuf (staring off distantly): Mac, we gotta . . . buckle down. We're a good team--give us credit. We're not making any excuses. Injuries happen. We have to . . . deal . . . with that and carry on. No one's quitting.
McClement: Randy, is Lupes at home or still being seen by the physicians?
Carlyle: No matter where. Of comfort no man speak!
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs,
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let's call our scouting staff and talk of picks.
It must be so; for what else can we compete
Save a higher pick in the choicest round?
For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of Leafs--
How some have been concussed, some scratched in health,
Some haunted by old teammates who were waived,
Some poisoned by the press, some sleeping traded.