The silent treatment

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

 There was a time when Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin would have addressed the media by now and given an update on his leg injury.

 But whether it's the call of Sundin himself, coach Pat Quinn or ultra-secretive general manager John Ferguson, the big Swede has not said boo in a public forum since going down hard in Game 4 in Ottawa on Thursday.

  And Quinn thumbed his nose at anyone who thinks that's a bad thing. One can take that to mean everyone in the past few days who has been around the club with a microphone or a pad and pen.

 PROTECTION

 "I don't think he is being kept away," said Quinn, who was not overly convincing when he said it was Sundin's decision to stay out of sight.

 "The whole idea is protection of the player. They speak too much, in my opinion. It's none of your business and it's none of the public's business about their injuries. And that's the way it should be. There's too much at stake and they put themselves at risk if they speak."

 But players rarely spill the beans about their injuries or, in the case of Owen Nolan when he hurt his knee last month, pretend not to know which ligaments they have damaged.

 Sundin's probable absence tonight for Game 6 is another hurdle the Leafs will have to leap, but they have done it in the past, with an inspiring win in Game 5 the latest example.

 Sundin, who favoured his left leg when he departed on Thursday, may not be playing, but he is never far from the minds of his teammates during games.

 "With Mats out, you can't rely on your game-breaker," Tom Fitzgerald said. "Maybe subconsciously we do sometimes. We might not admit it or show it, but maybe we do wait for Mats to do something. Now we can't. We have to rely on little things and (Saturday night) was a perfect example."


Videos

Photos