Rod measures Leafs for playoffs

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Carolina Hurricanes forward Rod Brind'Amour made a bold "guarantee" yesterday.

But it had nothing to do with the chances of his team against the Buffalo Sabres tonight in Game 6 of the 2006 Eastern Conference final at the HSBC Arena.

Having played under Paul Maurice for a number of seasons in North Carolina, Brind'Amour last night predicted the incoming Maple Leafs coach will lead Toronto into the postseason in 2006-07.

Case closed.

"I'll go out on a limb and can guarantee they will make the playoffs," Brind'Amour said shortly after his 'Canes arrived at their Buffalo hotel.

"They should have been there this year but I understand there may have been some questions and issues there relating to their structure."

Brind'Amour was part of the 2002 Maurice-led Hurricanes squad that defeated the Leafs in six games in the Eastern Conference final.

That Hurricanes squad would end up bowing out to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, but not from a lack of effort from players or coaches.

It was a prime example of what Brind'Amour feels Maurice brings to the table.

"Paul is a younger guy who has a good feel of what to say and when to say it," Brind'Amour said. "He should be a good fit there.

"I really expect (the Leafs) to be in the mix next year. I really thought they would be there this season."


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