Maurice's wait almost over

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

The circle will be complete for Paul Maurice tomorrow night.

Nearly three years after he was fired by the Carolina Hurricanes, Maurice will be back behind an NHL bench, and he can't wait.

"There is a feeling of anticipation and excitement with a full house in the NHL and something on the line," Maurice said. "It's not there in the AHL and not there in the exhibition. I can feel it coming and I am already looking forward to it. The thing I have missed more than anything is that buzz, the energy that comes from the pressure that goes with (coaching)."

Maurice, 39, has not coached in an NHL game since Dec. 14, 2003. Two days later, he was sacked by the 'Canes.

TIMING NOT EVERYTHING

The expectation is captain Mats Sundin will get more ice time under Maurice than he did with former coach Pat Quinn but Sundin is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

"There has been a lot of talk about my ice time," Sundin said. "I'm at the stage of my career where I want to be part of a winning team whether I play 18 or 22 minutes or whatever it is. I'm just excited to get the season going."

NEXT QUESTION

Darcy Tucker does not buy into the theory that a number of questions -- from goaltending to depth at forward to difficulty in penalty killing -- face the Leafs as they begin the regular season tomorrow night.

"I don't think there are any question marks right now," Tucker said. "We have to go out there and answer the critics and make sure we are doing what the coaching staff wants. I think our team is well conditioned. Everybody has to play to their potential."


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