Maple Leafs Watch

LANCE HORNBY and MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET


 FORMER MAPLE LEAFS GREAT DIES AT 78

 Former Maple Leafs captain Sid Smith, who won three Stanley Cups with the team, died yesterday morning.

 He was 78.

 Smith played 601 regular-season games for the Leafs at left wing and had 369 points. The two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner retired early from the NHL to coach the Whitby Dunlops to the 1958 world hockey championship.

 Leafs coach Pat Quinn noted Smith was a teammate of his favourite player, Teeder Kennedy, and said it was a loss for the entire hockey fraternity.

 BRAVE FRONT

 Philadelphia Flyers forward Jeremy Roenick no doubt raised some hackles in the Leafs dressing room when he noted that Toronto players weren't as brave in Philadelphia in Games 1 and 2 as they were on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre. Roenick singled out defenceman Bryan McCabe, whom he said did not touch anyone at the Wachovia Center.

 "He can say whatever he wants," McCabe said.

 "We played hard (Wednesday night). We should expect more of the same (tonight). J.R. is J.R. He's a good guy, good for hockey. He speaks his mind."

 TOUGH TALK

 Leafs forward Nik Antropov supplied the Flyers with bulletin board fodder yesterday by suggesting the Philly defence can be exploited because it is made up solely of European-born players.

 Antropov believes the Leafs can wear out the Flyers blue-line corps with a physical forecheck.

 LOOSE LEAFS

 Quinn on using grinders such as Clarke Wilm and Chad Kilger: "You dress 20 guys and you expect to get good minutes out of all of them. Sometimes the grinders are the guys who make the difference at playoff time. Their commitment to defence is often a little better than your higher-end players."

 LEAFS INJURIES

 JOE NIEUWENDYK

 Back, day to day

 MIKAEL RENBERG

 Hamstring, day to day

 OWEN NOLAN

 Right knee, out indefinitely


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