Czerkawski puzzling

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:13 AM ET

The Maple Leafs' resident conundrum was a healthy scratch last night for the fourth time in nine games.

Winger Mariusz Czerkawski was signed to a one-year, $500,000 US deal last month. It may appear cheap, but factor in the $39-million salary cap for each NHL club and Czerkawski's inability to score, and it really is not.

Czerkawski doesn't necessarily agree with his benching.

"It's kind of early (in the season), but that's the way it is and I can't change it," Czerkawski said.

"You just have to stay patient and positive. If you get frustrated and down on yourself, it's not a good thing and it's not going to help you get out of the situation."

Leafs coach Pat Quinn, for the second consecutive game, had Nathan Perrott in the lineup last night against the Boston Bruins. Czerkawski has one assist in five games and is minus-1.

"A lot of times when goal-scorers dry up a little bit, it's because they disappear," Quinn said.

"They are not easily found and not available for the pass. Generally when that happens they are not playing their game.

"Most of them have the skills and they have to get in the right spot."

THE BOSTON WHO?

Jason Allison spent four-plus seasons with the Bruins but was not anticipating last night's game as anything special.

"To be honest with you, I was not even realizing we were playing them until (Sunday)," the Leafs centre said. "It's no big deal."

Allison was with the Bruins when Joe Thornton broke into the league.

"It's good to see him do well," Allison said. "He's a great guy and he has all the tools. He's one of the best players in the game."

LEETCH REMINISCES

Bruins defenceman Brian Leetch spent just 28 games in a Maple Leafs uniform in 2004 but has fond memories of playing in Toronto.

"I was excited to be back and Ihad fun playing here in this building," Leetch said after the Bruins lost last night.

"I was treated so well here by everybody and it was fun to play in the playoffs and be part of the Toronto-Ottawa series and have success."

THE BOSTON WHO?

Jason Allison spent four-plus seasons with the Bruins but was not anticipating last night's game as anything special.

"To be honest with you, I was not even realizing we were playing them until (Sunday)," the Leafs centre said. "It's no big deal."

Allison was with the Bruins when Joe Thornton broke into the league.

"It's good to see him do well," Allison said. "He's a great guy and he has all the tools. He's one of the best players in the game."

BOYES IN THE HOUSE

Bruins centre Brad Boyes finally made his NHL debut at the Air Canada Centre, though not how he once envisioned it.

Boyes, the first-round pick by the Leafs in 2000, played his first NHLgame in Toronto. He had to gather up a raft of tickets for his parents, Bob and Mary, other family members and friends.

"I'll probably feel a little bit of everything, but I have to make sure I don't get too crazy," Boyes said after the morning skate. "I'm going to be hyped up."


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