After nine games of busting his tail on the fourth line, Tie Domi may get a small reward tonight in the Maple Leafs' biggest game of the season.
Nothing is written in stone, but Domi was inserted on to a line with Ron Francis and Chad Kilger at practice yesterday. Domi has been effective during the playoffs, but of the forwards who have appeared in every post-season game, only Kilger has had less ice time on average than Domi's 12 minutes a game.
"You know how crucial every game is and you try to put everything on the line for every game," Domi said. "I have been around awhile and I know what it is all about, especially in this town."
Give Domi credit. With the MFP inquiry hanging over his head the past couple of weeks, Domi has immersed himself in trying to help make the Leafs successful. It was just three years ago that Domi let his emotions get the better of him when he elbowed New Jersey Devils defenceman Scott Niedermayer on the head, thereby ending Domi's season to suspension. It's almost inconceivable Domi could go off the rails again at such an important time.
"From the time I have been here, Tie has really tried to work on his game," coach Pat Quinn said. "He was a showman early on and part of his show was his ability to scrap.
"I like guys who are able to play the game as well. That was my message to Tie, that he had some skills that would allow him to be a decent player as well. He has worked hard and now relies on more than just two minutes of show time to keep a job. Donald (Brashear) is the same way. These guys have developed and earned spots."
It's no surprise Domi will take that attitude into tonight.
"We have to find a way to get it done," Domi said. "It seems like we are always making things exciting for everyone and we just want to stick together and be confident."
Domi up for more action
TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun
, Last Updated: 2:35 PM ET