Eager to return

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 4:19 PM ET

 From no line to the top line, Darcy Tucker suddenly appeared to be part of the Maple Leafs picture again yesterday at practice.

 But defenceman Ken Klee could be a safer bet to return to the lineup tonight in Game 2 against the Ottawa Senators.

  Tucker took Mikael Renberg's spot on a line with Mats Sundin and Gary Roberts after Renberg felt a twinge in practice in the hamstring that has bothered him the past month.

 Does that mean Tucker, who has missed the past 14 games with an abdomen/groin injury, will be back in?

 "We'll decide (today) based on how the morning skate goes," Tucker said. "I am not going to come back and play unless I can. That's the bottom line. I can't be the same player if I am going to be on the perimeter."

 Long after the majority of his teammates departed Lakeshore Lions Arena, Renberg emerged and told the remaining media he felt fine after having some treatment and expected to play tonight. If both Renberg and Tucker suit up, a possible candidate to sit would be Chad Kilger, one of a handful of Leafs forwards who was minus-1 in Game 1.

 FEELING BETTER

 Klee, meanwhile, sounded optimistic about getting back in after missing the past eight games with a shoulder injury.

 "It definitely feels better," Klee said. "I was hoping to play in the last game and I have the same feeling now. I feel like I am pretty close.

 "You want to be out there helping when things don't go well. I felt just as bad (watching Game 1) if not worse. It's better when you are out there because you have a chance to try to help. When you watch on TV, you feel helpless."

 Neither Klee nor Tucker will know until they actually get into a game and get banged around a bit how ready they are to make an impact.

 "It's getting to the point where not everything is going to feel great but you make sure you keep (the shoulder) in a good position," Klee said. "I know it's going to be a case of getting hit. That's playoff hockey."

 Calle Johansson made a couple of costly mistakes in Game 1, but one of Bryan Marchment or Aki Berg, the Leafs' third defence pair, likely will be deleted if Klee plays.

 Coach Pat Quinn refused to tip his hand about Tucker and Klee.

 "I think they are fairly close and we will make a call certainly on one of them," Quinn said. "I know they are anxious. The only way to know (if they are ready) is to play them."


Videos

Photos