Suglobov showing his stuff with the Leafs

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

MONTREAL -- When scoring winger Steve Thomas came to the Maple Leafs from the restrictive New Jersey Devils system in 1998, he said it was "like getting out of jail."

Alex Suglobov knows the feeling after being traded to the Maple Leafs and getting a chance to show his offensive profile. The young winger scored once and had two assists last night in the Leafs' 4-3 win over the Canadiens, becoming the Leafs top scorer after four exhibition games.

But coach Paul Maurice doesn't want Suglobov to burn all of Lou Lamoriello's Jersey textbooks.

"I hadn't seen enough of him because he came late last year (in the Ken Klee trade) and it was a huge change from Jersey's 1-2-2 trap," Maurice said. "It's making the job of how all this fits very difficult, but it's still too early (to give him a job). We have to talk about roles and ice time and all that stuff. There's still some development to go in his game, but good for him for showing (the skill).

"It will take him a while still to get the routes down. On offence, he still needs more confidence. He needs to release the puck and just let the play go and work to the net, not try to do something one-on-one."

Suglobov had a breakaway goal on Friday against the Habs and opened the scoring last night by picking the corner on Carey Price. He later fanned on a bouncing wrist shot that Jeremy Williams knocked in and assisted on Matt Stajan's game winner.

"I want to work on my defensive play, on my positioning, try to cover my guy," Suglobov said. "New Jersey played a more defensive game, but here, every shift, you push harder and harder. I like this game better, because you get a lot of chances."

Suglobov also had some praise from Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau.

"He obviously has got speed and guys like that can do well in this new environment of the game," Carbonneau said.

Stajan didn't have a point after the Leafs first three games and the penalty killing centre was in the box twice when Montreal scored, before earning the winner.

"The first three games were frustrating because you want to put some points up," Stajan said. "But Paul wants us working hard and moving our feet and when you do that, he'll reward you with ice time."

Carbonneau says he's not panicking after his team fell to 0-4 in pre-season play.

"You wish everyone was at 100% right now, but only some players are born to do that, to give 100% whether it's January or June."


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