Sundin soaking it all up

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

Mats Sundin was the toast of Sweden yesterday, but the Maple Leafs hoped he's not burned out tonight.

Sundin and his gold medallist mates were welcomed by thousands of flag-waving fans in a downtown Stockholm plaza, despite being -5C.

A 3 1/2-hour show saw a joint hockey celebration of the Olympic title and the women's silver medal from Turin, with Swedish celebrities joining the party. Sundin, Peter Forsberg and Henrik Lundqvist danced and sang with the women's team and threw their national sweaters into the crowd.

Leafs coach Pat Quinn said Sundin and goalie Mikael Tellqvist would be back in time to play the Capitals.

CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

Don't expect general manager John Ferguson to stick with the status quo on defence for long if the Leafs slip further in the standings.

Andy Wozniewski and Jay Harrison, now back with the Marlies, brought size and attention to detail in their play during the injury crisis.

"Both continue to play well," Ferguson said after monitoring the farm team during the weekend. "We're very comfortable with them if health or performance (become an issue with the Leafs)."

LOOSE LEAFS

Quinn caused a few snickers yesterday when he praised Nik Antropov's fine play for Afghanistan in the Olympics. Realizing he meant to say Khazakstan, Quinn apologized and said "well, it's one of those Stans."... Ex-Leafs' Wendel Clark and Mike Gartner will fly to Kashechewan tomorrow, as part of a joint Leafs/NHLPA effort to outfit 25 isolated communities in Northern Ontario with 500 sets of donated hockey equipment ... An elated Sundin told a worldwide TV audience on Sunday that he was going to hang his gold medal around the neck of Ralph, one of three dogs that winger Jeff O'Neill often brings to Leafs practice. "He told me he'd get me a shout out at the Olympics and he did," O'Neill said with a laugh.


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