Aki, Czerkawski, iffy

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

Several Maple Leafs were missing in action during practice yesterday.

Two of the four -- defenceman Aki Berg and winger Mariusz Czerkawski -- were nursing injuries suffered against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night and at best are questionable for tonight.

Both were checked out by club doctors yesterday. Czerkawski hurt a shoulder and Berg, who had rib woes in training camp, is believed to have another rib problem.

"It's general soreness for both and it's premature to say (if either will play tonight)," Leafs general manager John Ferguson said. "I don't know if it will prevent them from playing but it could."

Wade Belak was having his nose, broken by Colton Orr of the Boston Bruins in a fight on Thursday night, re-set and he should be fine for tonight. Forward Matt Stajan was sent home after showing up for practice with the flu and is questionable.

Quinn said the Leafs were toying with the idea of bringing up a player or two from the Toronto Marlies, after that club's game last night. Defencemen Staffan Kronwall and Andy Wozniewski were possibilities.

DOMINATING DIFFERENCE

Tonight's Leafs opponent, the Ottawa Senators, never have had the calibre of netminding that Dominik Hasek brings.

"Dom is Dom and he brings us a lot of confidence," centre Jason Spezza said. "Not to take anything away from (former Senators goalie Patrick Lalime, who has been struggling with the St. Louis Blues), but withDom, there is only one of him in the world."

KEEP AN EYE OUT

Players will often say they won't do anything different to combat the skills of various opposing players but with Spezza there is not much choice.

At least one Leaf should know. Rookie Kyle Wellwood, then with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL, was traded straight up for Spezza, then with the Windsor Spitfires, in January 2002.

"I've watched his career and I take pride in the fact he is such a wonderful player (and was involved in the same trade)," Wellwood said. "When you're on the ice, you have to take a different approach on how you want to take that shift. You have to be focused."


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