O'Neill quick to credit Sundin

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Jeff O'Neill wasn't about to take any credit he didn't think he deserved.

The play in question was his go-ahead goal at the end of the second period, a goal he freely admitted took very little talent.

"I'm not taking anything away from your athletic ability," O'Neill said to an inquiring reporter, "but you probably could have put that one in too."

O'Neill put all the credit for the goal right where it belonged ... at the feet of his captain Mats Sundin.

Sundin was streaking down the right wing and wound up for what appeared to be a shot on net but was actually a pass.

O'Neill, who incidentally did deserve credit for going to the net on the play if nothing else, took the shot/pass in full stride and directed the puck into the empty net.

"He's one of those guys," O'Neill said. "He's a dynamic player. If you are open in front he's going to put it right on your stick."

It's not the first time in his 10 years in the league O'Neill has had one gift-wrapped.

"I'm 30 years old now and I'm still in awe of some of the great players I've been able to play with. I played with Brendan Shanahan for a couple of years and Ronnie Francis for a bunch of years. Sometimes you catch yourself saying holy (crap) I'm playing with this guy. It's a lot of fun."

As for the pass, O'Neill said it was Sundin's ability to ignore the winger and convince both the goalie and the defenceman he actually was shooting that made the play.

A GREAT QUALITY

"They make it look like they don't see you but they do," O'Neill said speaking of the elite players in the game. "It's a great quality for a centreman to have. Even playing with Ronnie he would always tell me never to yell for it because he would always know where I was and he would get it there."

Francis is no longer around to feed him, but Sundin has filled that void quite nicely.

On the downside for O'Neill was the news that at least temporarily he will not be seeing too much of Sundin.

O'Neill spent last night playing on a line with Eric Lindros and Chad Kilger.

"It's just one of those things where we're trying to find some chemistry on our lines," O'Neill said. "We play all of our lines evenly and obviously the more you get out there with him the better it is but that's just the way it is."

O'Neill will have to take advantage of his time with Sundin on the Leafs power play.


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