Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn's sole goal is to win games and if a few toes are stepped upon along the way, so be it.
That helps explain why Jean-Sebastien Aubin started last night against the Philadelphia Flyers, two nights after he was the first star in a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Mikael Tellqvist still could be one of the Leafs' goalies of the future, but Quinn could not ignore Aubin's 35-save outing against the Devils.
"I think it is fair under the circumstances," Quinn said. "It just seemed like the right thing to do.
"You try to put the lineup out that you think is going to win on that particular night. The long-range picture is certainly part of anybody's job, but the present is more important than the long-term thing. But do you have to be mindful of it? Sure."
Because he wants to win more than anything else, having rookie Aleksander Suglobov in the lineup does not appeal to Quinn right now either. Suglobov last night was a healthy scratch for the third game in a row.
To no surprise, Aubin was happy that he was rewarded for his work on Sunday. As much as victories are important for the Leafs, Aubin, who does not have a contract after this season, said he is looking ahead at the same time.
"You always play for your future no matter what," Aubin said. "Even if you have a year left on your contract, if you don't play as well as you could, they are always going to find someone else."
Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe said he did not have much of a problem with the angst that has surrounded the team from the outside during its plight. "We take it in stride," McCabe said. "It's Toronto. All the fans want to win. They haven't had a Cup in years and we want to win too."
HIS AND HIS ALONE
Flyers rookie Mike Richards, going into last night, was the lone NHL player this season to score a short-handed goal while his team was on a three-on-five disadvantage. Richards did it against the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Oct. 22.