Antropov coy on return

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

Nik Antropov was guarded yesterday when questioned about his return to the Leafs' lineup.

"Top secret," he said with a smile, later saying he was shooting for Tuesday's home game against the Washington Capitals to test his sore right knee.

Antropov, who remains on injured reserve, practised at Lakeshore Lions Arena on a line with Mariusz Czerkawski (shoulder) and Nathan Perrott.

Goaltender Ed Belfour was given a "maintenance day" rest. He will play tonight against Tampa and perhaps sit tomorrow in favour of Mikael Tellqvist. Clarke Wilm (bruised foot) also was excused.

KLEE NOT GLEE

Ken Klee sounded off yesterday about two topics high on an NHL defenceman's agenda this year -- stick obstruction and diving.

"The toughest thing is trying to maintain body position. "They're saying they don't want you to use your stick in any way, except to play the puck. The reality is, if you raise a guy's stick, you have the possibility of getting a penalty.

"But it doesn't seem to be the same on the forecheck. (Forwards) can lift our sticks and steal from us and it's not the same rule."

Klee noted Carolina's Erik Cole was nailed for diving in Thursday's 4-3 win over Toronto, but he feels too many others get away with it.

"When they see a diving infraction, (officials) should fine the guy or suspend him, whatever they have to do," he said. "We don't need that."

It was pointed out to him that the Lightning are the least penalized team in the penalty-filled NHL.

"They must have found a way," Klee said with a laugh.

STILL STANDING TALL

Almost 10 years after being traded by the Leafs, Dave Andreychuk is back with Cup-champion Tampa, while the Leafs still await their first since 1967.

"I look back on that time even more now," Andreychuk said. "That run we had in '93, how close we were and how good it would've been to win with the Leafs."

At 42, Andreychuk is one player who says the lockout actually helped him.

"With the year off, I got a chance to taste retirement and realized how much I missed the guys," he said. "Fortunately, they wanted me back."


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