Nik Antropov has been harangued at times in the media for not using his body properly, but coach Pat Quinn likes what he is getting from the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Kazakh during short-handed situations.
"He has an advantage in his size and his reach and if continues to (use them), he will cover a lot of space," Quinn said. "Although you are not looking for contact when you are killing penalties, (size) will help you win some pucks when the pucks are loose. Your strength can come to play and he has been showing that."
Overall, the Leafs penalty killers could be doing a better job. Going into last night's action, the Leafs were 18th in the NHLwith a 81.6% success rate.
Antropov, meanwhile, has applied for Canadian citizenship and expects the process to be seen through sometime in 2006. Antropov's son and daughter were born in Toronto.
"It is exciting, and it's one good thing that will happen to me (following the death of his father late last month)," Antropov said.
Though the Canadiens whined afterward about a tripping call on Craig Rivet as regulation expired, Antropov, who was the Leaf on the play, not surprisingly saw it another way. Mats Sundin scored on the power play in overtime. The Habs were incensed, and defenceman Andrei Markov, who was denied a goal earlier in the game, was assessed a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of officials.
"It was a penalty for sure, there is no question about it," Antropov said. "He jumped and hit my knees and it was a penalty."
Return of Wilm
Clarke Wilm, whose attention to working hard probably should have kept him in the lineup ahead of some of his teammates, was in uniform against the Canadiens on Saturday night for the first time in nine games. Wilm had been a healthy scratch for eight in a row and had not played since Nov. 6.
"I was not thinking about how long I have been off," Wilm said. "I just wanted to do my best and try to provide some spark. After the first shift you are right there, but there was a lot of emotion and adrenalin when you have not played for so long."
Wilm played 10 minutes 40 seconds against Montreal.