Close call for Klee

MIKE RUTSEY -- Toronto Sun -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

They weren't working on their timing on the speed bag or laying the body blows on the heavy bag.

No sides of beef hung from the rafters either -- a la Rocky Balboa -- in the Maple Leafs dressing room at Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday in preparation for tonight's Round 2 against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Defenceman Ken (Scarface) Klee, though, looked like he had a good cut man in his corner, the stitching on his right cheek from a run-in the night before with the skate of Boston's Dave Scratchard extremely neat and the swelling kept to a minimum.

Klee looked like the baddest of tough guys but he's not expecting another blowout battle royale.

"It's a big game for us," Klee said. "Obviously we did a number on them the last time and got a lot of power-play goals (seven).

"They're a desperate team right now that needs points. We've got a little bit of a roll going and we want to keep it going. For us, two points is the most important thing."

As for the close shave from Scratchard, Klee shrugged it off as just part of the job.

"I just knew it hit me in the face and it hit me pretty hard," Klee said. "I saw the blood and it was pick yourself up and get off as quick as you can. I saw skates flying at me and it happened quick.

"It hurts. I don't recommend it to anyone."

Klee, by the way, doesn't wear a visor and isn't about to any time soon.

"A visor's not going to do anything for that," he said of his right cheek. "You get kicked in the face, you have a visor on and it could still cut you bad. For me it's a non-issue. I've tried to wear one and it just didn't work for me."

Klee also is looking for the Leafs to continue the fine defensive play they've exhibited in their past two wins.

"I think we're playing better as five-man units," Klee said. "I've said it before, when we weren't doing well we weren't working together as five guys out there. We weren't making good D (defence) to D passes or D to forward passes in our own zone and when you spend a lot of time in your own zone you're going to give up goals, it's just the way it is."


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