Leafs Watch

TERRY KOSHAN, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET


  JOHANSSON SHOULDERS THE BLAME

CALLE JOHANSSON accepted the goat horns last night after the Maple Leafs' 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Johansson coughed up the puck at the Senators blue line early in the third period, and Marian Hossa raced down the ice to score an insurance goal. Johansson had tried to get around Ottawa forward Vaclav Varada, but Varada slid and knocked the puck off Johansson's stick.

"It was a stupid play by me," Johansson said. "Varada went down early and I was going to walk around him but he slid into my legs and I fell down. What can I say? It was just a bad play by me. There are no excuses."

Tomas Kaberle could not catch Hossa, who jumped over a diving Ed Belfour in the Leafs zone and put the puck into the open net. Belfour came out to try to surprise Hossa.

"I missed the puck and he kept his balance and he made a nice play," Belfour said.

IT'S A HUGE MAN'S GAME

The Leafs had trouble with Ottawa's Zdeno Chara for much of the evening, but given the defenceman's 6-foot-9, 260-pound frame, it's not a shock.

"Chara is a real good player and a big man who can play the game," winger Gary Roberts said. "He is a smart guy and we try to be physical with him. But how physical can you be on a guy like that? It's like running into a wall. We have to play him smart, and maybe try to go around him rather than through him."

No matter what they think of Chara, Roberts acknowledged he and linemates Mats Sundin and Mikael Renberg have to improve for Game 2 tomorrow night.

"They are a favourite to come out of the East and we know that," Roberts said. "We know they are a good team. We are going to have to play our best hockey to beat them."

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MAPLE LEAFS INJURIES

KEN KLEE

Shoulder, possible for Game 2

DARCY TUCKER

Abdominal, questionable for Game 2

OWEN NOLAN

Knee, out indefinitely


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