Quinn's under fire

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn has a couple of eye-area nicks of his own. He was hit by a puck in Toronto's 6-5 shootout loss to Ottawa on Monday after getting cut for five stitches in similar fashion during a pre-season game against the Detroit Red Wings two weeks ago.

"You go all that time without anything happening and then you get bonked twice," said the 62-year-old Quinn. "It probably is my reaction time. My footwork's not what it used to be."

One of Quinn's worst injuries occurred behind the bench 20 seasons ago when he was hit in the mouth while helping the Team Canada staff at the world championship. He had to go to Russia minus a few teeth.

NET WORTH

While the Leafs went with backup goalie Mikael Tellqvist last evening, the Philadelphia Flyers split the first two starts between No. 1 Robert Esche, who lost the season opener, and rising Finnish star Antero Niittymaki. Esche is now 0-2.

"Eschy's going to be fine," coach Ken Hitchcock said before last night. "It will take him a month to get used to this stuff (the NHL's equipment and rules changes ). We're a little bit ahead of the curve because we have guys who played in the AHL.

"He's a different goalie than Nitty and Nitty played all last year. But Eschy will get it back in order. He's our guy, we know what he can do. He's a lot like Eddie (Belfour)."

BRIEFLY

The Marlies have signed Oshawa-area forward Ian MacNeil to a professional tryout contract with their injury-plagued club ... The Marlies also announced that defenceman Marc Moro has been re-appointed team captain ... Defencman Ken Klee enjoyed his best game of three starts since returning from injury, a plus-2, more than 21 minutes of ice , six blocked shots and an assist ... The Leafs have been given today off, their first team holiday in a month. They play back to back in Atlanta on Friday and in Montreal on Saturday night ... Darcy Tucker had his 300th NHL point.


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