Leafs hit the bottle

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

The Maple Leafs had to go yesterday.

Really. They had to go. In a bottle. By order of the National Hockey League.

As part of the league's new random drug-testing policy, a number of Leafs were forced to relieve themselves into containers prior to practice at the University of Denver.

Many teams already started the process Sunday.

"It was exciting," defenceman Ken Klee said sarcastically. "We got it done."

HOME BOY

Klee, who lives in the Denver area during the off-season, expects plenty of friends to be in the crowd tonight for the game against the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Like the town in which he resides, he also is caught up in Broncos-mania. Denver will host the AFC championship game between the Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday.

"They're going all the way," Klee said.

PASS THE ROLAIDS

Wade Belak was back on the ice yesterday, less than 24 hours after suffering from food poisoning.

"Who knew you shouldn't eat chicken medium rare?" he joked. "I mean, it's okay to eat beef that way so why not chicken?"

THUMBS DOWN

Coach Pat Quinn didn't actually give forward Mariusz Czerkawski a ringing endorsement.

Quinn was blunt when asked why the enigmatic forward has been a healthy scratch on so many occasions this season.

"We just have other people ranked higher than him," Quinn said.

Ya -- like the entire team.

On the other hand, Quinn quickly came to the defence of captain Mats Sundin, who has been criticized in some circles for not producing enough points.

"He has been fine," Quinn said. "Too many times we judge these guys on point production.

"In the case of Mats, he has had so many linemates because we've had to shuffle things around due to all our injuries."

Quinn said he likely will use Mikael Tellqvist in one of the upcoming back-to-back games.


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