Quinn turns to Telly

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Whenever Mikael Tellqvist sees a calendar on the dressing room wall, he looks for blue and white rectangles. Lots of them.

That means a glut of games for the Maple Leafs and less down time between starts for the affable backup goalie. When Tellqvist played the first of Toronto's back-to-back games last night against the Hurricanes, it marked his shortest wait of the season, just two games before Ed Belfour took a breather.

Last night marked the second of six games in nine nights and coach Pat Quinn has indicated Tellqvist will play again next week, likely one of two road games in 48 hours against Tampa Bay or Atlanta.

"I hope I get more games of course," Tellqvist said yesterday morning. "But I know my role. I haven't heard anything (beyond Carolina). I got the call after our team dinner last night and I get pumped up to play."

While Tellqvist is not Belfour, it's clear he's no Trevor Kidd, either. Kidd had a record of 6-5-2 in 2003-04, but was 1-3-1 in his last five starts when the Leafs needed to stay in the first-place hunt in the Northeast. Tellqvist began pushing Kidd as well and it became too much of a distraction for Quinn.

"We had injury problems, then questions about who the second guy would be and then when Telly came in, who would be the third guy," Quinn recalled.

"It was never a settled situation. What we did know is that Eddie would take the predominant number of games and that still holds true."

Tellqvist entered last night with a 2-2 record and 8-6-2 lifetime as a Leaf.

"Telly showed he was equal to the task," Quinn said. "He'll continue working his way towards being a No. 1 some day."

Tellqvist was the top dog in St. John's last year, but admits going one or two weeks without game action takes some adjustment. So he uses his imagination.

"You have to approach every practice as a game," the 26-year-old said. "You warm up and then try to shut every (shooter) down. I (pretend) every 2-on-1 is like a 2-on-1 in a game."


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