Leafs' tough guys find ice time tough to get

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

So, John Mitchell practised between Jason Blake and Phil Kessel yesterday.

That means the Maple Leafs' new first line has combined for one (1) goal this season.

Small change

Are the Maple Leafs parking their truculence?

Is it good riddance to belligerence?

Testosterone-fuelled winger Colton Orr has seen his ice time slip to 4:27 and 3:28 the past two games; pugnacious defenceman Garnet Exelby to 9:55 and 9:46.

Fellow heavyweights Jay Rosehill and Jamal Mayers can't even crack the lineup these days.

Leading the Leafs in excitement and ice time (among forwards) against Tampa Bay were the smurf-ish Lee Stempniak, Blake and Kessel.

On defence, the team scoring leader continues to be the positively passive Tomas Kaberle, while (Slight) Ian White is fourth on the Leafs in average ice time.

Now, the intimidation factor is in the hands of The Monster, rookie goalie Jonas Gustavsson. And he has been scary good.

Pitcher shot

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla is recovering from a bullet wound after a target-shooting instructor in Managua, Nicaragua accidentally shot him in the leg.

Padilla did not need surgery but did seem to be em-Burress-ed.

They're so Raven

Four Baltimore Ravens sang to residents of a retirement community as part of a karaoke night.

Receiver Derrick Mason was joined by backup quarterback John Beck, tight end Edgar Jones and receiver Justin Harper.

"I don't have an 'A' game when it comes to singing," Mason said.

"So I go out and try to bring my F-plus game."

Mason doesn't have a great voice, but that's okay ... our dictionary says a raven has "a hoarse, croaking cry."

Lions greats?

Headline on the DetroitNews.com: "Ford Field display to honour Lions' greatest players."

Geez, are any of them still alive?

Wandering coach

The coach of an Austrian women's handball team has been banned for three years after running on to the court to stop an opposing player from scoring with four seconds to play in a game.

It ended in a 27-27 tie.

Gunnar Prokop, 69, said he will meet with a psychiatrist.

"I still can't understand why I've done this," he said.

He was a streaker in another life, perhaps?

Cold Colbert

Comedian Stephen Colbert has announced that his show, The Colbert Report, and its fans have become the primary sponsor of the U.S. speedskating team.

"On their enormous billboard thighs, it will say, 'Colbert Nation,' " he said.

Colbert, who has been known to lead his audience in chants of "U-S-A," apparently is getting warmed up for the Vancouver Olympics.

"It still, tragically, involves a lot of Canadians," he said. "It's kind of unseemly how many Canadians I'm going to have to be dealing with."

GARY.LOEWEN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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