Leaf watch

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

The Maple Leafs realize they will meet a club tonight in the Montreal Canadiens that appears to have benefited from the rule changes.

The Habs are a fast club, and not overly big, and they've been a terror in the offensive zone. They're off to a 2-0 start.

"It shows the game has changed," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "Their roster is small and fast and they probably have half a dozen forwards you would consider small, but with these rules, it has probably given a lot of hope to the small guys who want to play this game of hockey. On paper they seem to have been an improved hockey club, and it's not just on paper."

In fact, the Leafs expect no cakewalks this season.

"I wish we had easy nights in the NHL but those days are done," defenceman Ken Klee said.

AW, SHOOT

Quinn was asked whether he would use Kyle Wellwood in a shootout -- he said yes -- and then turned the answer into a slam of the shootout themselves.

"It's why I don't like it,"Quinn said. "It's not a team now, it's an individual who can decide the game. We have always worked in the team atmosphere. The whole essence of the sport disappears in this."

KLEE GETS AROUND

Klee spent part of his time anticipating getting back into the lineup by sidling up to Alexander Khavanov. It has been assumed the two will be partners when Klee returns, likely tonight.

"I've been trying to talk to him every day about little things," Klee said. "I like to try to get to know all the guys."

TELLQVIST WAITS

With the Leafs beginning a stretch of three games in four nights tonight -- they are in Ottawa on Monday and play host to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday-- goalie Mikael Tellqvist is hoping for his first start of the season.

If Ed Belfour decides to play all three, it's probable Tellqvist would get the call next Friday night in Atlanta versus the Thrashers.

"I'm ready to go whenever I get in,"said Tellqvist, who played in 45 games for St. John's last season.

"We'll have to wait and see but when I get that chance I will do my best."


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