EAGLE ON 'BACK' OF LEAFS' MINDS
THE IDEA that the Maple Leafs are toast if Ed Belfour's back woes flare up does not sit well in their dressing room.
"I don't know where that is coming from," Joe Nieuwendyk said when asked whether Belfour has to carry the team. "We have been playing solidly in front of him in the last little bit, so as long as he is there for us, we will be there for him."
Nieuwendyk, who also was a teammate of Belfour's with the Dallas Stars, said he is not concerned with the goalie's back.
Coach Pat Quinn did not automatically pencil in Trevor Kidd as Belfour's backup through the playoffs. Mikael Tellqvist was recalled from St. John's last Thursday night and he is here to stay.
"I have not made that call yet but imagine we will go the same way (with Kidd dressing)," Quinn said. "But we do have three now and Tellqvist is part of the main roster."
LEETCH IS ALL RIGHT
If the Leafs appear to have more confidence with Brian Leetch and, to a lesser extent, Calle Johansson, it's no coincidence.
"Brian has added a tremendous amount of composure on our blue line and that was an area that people, even within our team, were concerned about," Nieuwendyk said.
"You bring in a guy like that who can do so much offensively and defensively and it kind of solves the problem over night."
Both Darcy Tucker (groin/ abdomen) and Ken Klee (shoulder) looked good in practise yesterday but neither did anything approaching body contact. Klee plans on getting physical today in practise to see if he has any chance of playing tomorrow night ... Alex Mogilny, on being asked to imagine what the Senators must be feeling to face a club they have not ousted in three previous playoff meetings: "I don't want to imagine. I just worry about what is going on in my head."
Maple Leafs Watch
TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun
, Last Updated: 4:04 PM ET