The Boston Bruins will arrive at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow night in the firm grip of a six-game losing streak.
"I'm surprised, for sure," Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin said. "They're going through a funk but they still will be a tough team (to face)."
The Leafs contributed to the Bruins' skid with a 4-1 win in Beantown last Thursday. With a record of 7-10-3-2, the Bruins presently are out of the playoff picture. What's more, they have just one win in 10 games within their own division. Every other NHL team has won at least twice in its own division.
"They are a quality organization and they will get it straightened away," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "I just hope it is after we are finished with them (tomorrow)."
With the new schedule, divisional foes play each other eight times. Sundin and Quinn think it's too much, and that it's wrong the Leafs don't face fellow Original Six teams Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks this season.
"It's a shame," Sundin said. "We do miss those teams and I'm sure the fans do too. I think it would be fair to play everybody at least once. Eight games might be too much."
ATTENTION ON NEW YORK
Eric Lindros was glad to see a complaint from a group of players regarding the NHLPA's hiring of Ted Saskin go before the U.S. National Labor Relations Board yesterday.
"We would like to get this cleared up," he said. "Our association has worked hard to get ourselves in a good light and right now we are stuck in the shade a little bit. Let's clear the skies and move forward."
Lindros was one of the players who filed the complaint to the NLRB in September.
CLOSING IN ON SAWCHUK
With 445 wins, Leafs goalie Ed Belfour is two behind Terry Sawchuk for second on the NHL career wins list. Patrick Roy holds the record with 550.
"Eddie has been one of the stars in our game for a long time and he is going to be around for a while yet," Quinn said. "He is one of the best competitors I have been around. I know Terry a little bit too and he was marvelous (that way). Maybe that's the edge, the common thread these athletes have, the ability to muster up the competitive level night after night to raise them above the ordinary guys. It's how they distinguish themselves."