Healthy Domi makes his return

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

Tie Domi does not miss many Maple Leafs games because of injury, and two was enough this time.

Domi practised on a line yesterday with centre Jason Allison and Alexei Ponikarovsky at the Air Canada Centre and will be back in the lineup tonight in Boston against the Bruins.

Domi suffered a shoulder injury on Dec. 12 against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

"My upper-body feels good," Domi said with a smile. "I have been skating every day, more than usual, and my legs feel good."

What Domi is not happy about is his production. In 31 games, he has eight points (three goals and five assists).

Although he is not a big factor when he is on the ice, Domi said he does not have an overall problem with his play.

Domi has averaged nine minutes, 36 seconds of ice time a game, which is less than the 10 minutes, five seconds he has averaged during the previous six seasons.

And as proof that we may be operating in a parallel universe, he has 41 penalty minutes, one less than noted Leafs' pugilist Aki Berg.

"I feel good everywhere except on the scoresheet," Domi said. "When I was playing, it was usually against the top two lines. I don't mind that checking role, but when you are playing that role, you like to contribute offensively once in a while."

While Domi strives to be more prominent, one Leaf who is not being blamed by his teammates for the recent glut of goals against is netminder Ed Belfour.

Fourteen goals against in the past two games has some wondering whether he is in a rut (some of the goals have been of the really bad variety), but those in the dressing room scoff at the suggestion.

"No, it is not alarming," coach Pat Quinn said. "He has been doing fine, and it seems like this team, at least on special teams, either finds a way to score some or give some up. I look at it as team thing."

Still, Belfour has to be better. Entering last night's NHL games, he was 39th with a 3.46 goals-against average and 31st with a .891 save percentage. No less than 21 goalies had registered a shutout this season, but Belfour was not one of them.

"(The amount of goals against) has nothing to do with him," Bryan McCabe said.

"It is more us, and we have to give him some more help out there. Hopefully we can shore it up before Christmas."


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