Is Toronto’s locker room ‘divided?’

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At first, it was all about singling out Phil Kessel after Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle was fired, but now the entire locker room dynamic seems to be in question.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston wrote about “a dressing room divided” on Thursday.

On one side you have the guys who have been part of winning programs and understand the discipline and sacrifice needed to win on a consistent basis. On the other, with a few exceptions, there are the players who have been through so many ups and downs here that they’re bound to be suffering from blue and white vertigo.

Discipline. Sacrifice. Accountability.

It seems like the same effort-related buzz words get trotted out with frequently frustrating teams, whether it be the Maple Leafs or the Edmonton Oilers.

“Because it’s hard work,” Polak said to Johnston. “It’s always tough to do something you know you don’t like to do. I think we have lots of guys that just want to play offence.”

How much can really change thanks to sheer effort alone, though?

While some wonder how well Peter Horachek’s planned “5-5-5” system might work, the key is for the team to be on the same page. If you believe those murmurs, it sounds like people are reading different books.