"We have an opportunity here in the next month and after training camp gets going. We want to be as prepared as possible because there's a chance to come back and prove people wrong."
The Leafs entered the 2019-20 campaign with Stanley Cup aspirations, but a 9-10-4 start to the season resulted in the firing of head coach Mike Babcock in November and put the club's status as a title contender in question.
Toronto replaced him with rookie bench boss Sheldon Keefe, who coached the team to a 25-15-5 record. Despite the overall improvement, the Leafs still struggled to find consistency.
League play was suspended March 12, and Rielly called the hiatus a chance for the team to "take a look in the mirror."
"Going into this break, we didn't feel all that good about where we were at and I think we've all had some time to think about that and we have a chance to change the narrative a little bit and we have to take that opportunity," he said, per Shilton.
The Leafs are slated to play the Columbus Blue Jackets in a best-of-five qualifying series as part of the league's 24-team playoff format. With clubs working hard to prepare for a return, Rielly understands the tall task at hand.
"They're a good team, they play hard, have their certain style and they're well-coached," he said. "That play-in round will be extremely competitive, with a lot of teams that understand what's at stake and don't want to be gone after a couple of games."
Several Leafs players, including captain John Tavares, Mikehyev, and Muzzin returned to the ice this week as part of Phase 2 of the NHL's return plan.