Leafs running out of players

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

The biggest post-Olympic break game for the Leafs tomorrow versus the Montreal Canadiens will be played with a patchwork roster.

With Eric Lindros gone for the year with pending right wrist surgery, Nik Antropov questionable with a recurring arm injury and defenceman Andy Wozniewski not on the ice yesterday with a leg problem, the team was down to the bare minimum at Lakeshore Lions Arena.

Wade Belak was the sixth defenceman with seldom-used Mariusz Czerkawski becoming the 12th forward when Antropov departed 10 minutes into practice. A handful of Marlies, such as defenceman Staffan Kronwall, were at the rink, but it was to be treated for injuries. Defenceman Jay Harrison has a broken hand.

"We've had injuries before, but we have to play through them," captain Mats Sundin said on Saturday.

The Lindros and Antropov injuries are checker Clarke Wilm's ticket back into the lineup.

"It's tough to sit out, but I'm very excited and hopefully I get that opportunity to help this team win," Wilm said.

START SPREADIN' THE NEWS

Bryan McCabe is not guaranteeing anything about where he'll play next year, but did shoot down one rumour that he's eyeing the Islanders or Rangers strictly to be closer to his father-in-law for a post-hockey business position.

"He's a retired guy who plays golf every day," McCabe said yesterday with a laugh. "Yes, my wife's family is from that area, but mine is from Calgary and that doesn't mean I'll sign with the Flames. I love it here, it's my first choice."

HAB HUNTER

Forward Jason Allison keeps getting ribbed for a lack of speed, but has 10 points in his past 10 games and six points in his past four games against the Habs. But the latter stat didn't impress Allison.

"Right now, we don't care who scores in here, we're just trying to win games," he said. "My job is to help produce goals in whatever manner that is."

LOOSE LEAFS

Sundin needs one point to become just the third Leaf to reach 800, behind Darryl Sittler (916) and Dave Keon (858) ... Alexei Ponikarovsky was credited with nine of the Leafs' 36 hits against Ottawa on Saturday. The Sens had 34 hits.


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