Maple Leafs Watch

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:37 PM ET


 BELAK JUST WANTS A CHANCE

 As his emotions teeter between hope and disappointment, Wade Belak has kept his sense of humour.

 Belak has practised in Joe Nieuwendyk's spot on a line with Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky this week and Belak is keeping his fingers crossed that he'll actually get to play in Game 3 tonight.

 "We're about the same skill, I guess," Belak said when he was asked about replacing Nieuwendyk on the line.

 Belak won't believe he is in the lineup until he actually skates out for the game. He took part in the warmup in the half-hour before Game 2 but did not play.

 "It's tough when you go for the warmup and you get the 'You might in the lineup and you might not be (in your mind),' " Belak said. "Who knows? I'll have to wait and see."

 NOLAN REMAINS CLOUDY

 Owen Nolan had another strong day on his skates yesterday but there remains no target date for his return.

 "He has made some good progress," coach Pat Quinn said. "I am not sure at this point whether there will be clearance for him to get into action but he has less discomfort each day. It's really hard to say (when Nolan can be back)."

 Meanwhile, Quinn is willing to cut Alex Mogilny, who had hip surgery earlier this season, some slack.

 "That was major surgery he had and no one knows for sure what the recovery time is," Quinn said. "He has struggled coming back in, but he still has good hands and he looks to be getting better."

 Quinn hinted Mikael Renberg (hamstring) might be cleared to play, but that it would not lead to an automatic return to the lineup for the Swede.

 MAPLE LEAFS INJURIES

 JOE NIEUWENDYK

 Back, day to day

 MIKAEL RENBERG

 Hamstring, day to day

 OWEN NOLAN

 Right knee, out indefinitely


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