Randy Carlyle put in a long day at the office to try to get his Maple Leafs back on track.
One victory won't solve all the woes going on in Toronto, but in beating the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in a shootout Thursday night at Air Canada Centre the Leafs followed their coach's direction to provide some relief during tough times.
Troy Bodie scored in regulation and James Reimer made 34 saves for the win, just the Leafs' second in their past seven games. Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith, a strong candidate to make Canada's Olympic team, had 28 saves in a losing effort.
James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul scored in the shootout for the Leafs (18-16-3), who won for the fourth time in their past 14 games.
It wasn't a perfect outing for the Leafs, but it was a far better performance than they've put on the ice during most of the past few weeks. They made fewer of what Carlyle called ``individual'' mistakes that had proven costly, and Bodie's assertiveness in front of the net provided the necessary offence.
Accustomed to being outshot, the Leafs didn't get blown away by Dave Tippett's Coyotes (18-10-6), who prefer to play a tight game. But that's not the only way this was a different showing by Toronto.