Wade Belak knows part of his role tonight will be to counter Brian McGrattan's presence, should the Ottawa Senators put their enforcer in the lineup.
The rookie McGrattan shocked the Leafs early last season by popping Tie Domi in a scrap that marked the latter's decline as a force among NHL fighters. But Belak is not going to let McGrattan win a psychological war.
"He'll be more humble after the way Brownie (defenceman Brad Brown) took him on last time," Belak said of their pre-season bout that Toronto's farmhand won. "It's nice to see him put in his place. But I'm sure he'll be running around out there, trying to do his job."
TELLQVIST HANGS TOUGH
Though it's likely he won't be going anywhere but the press box for the next while, third Leafs goaltender Mikael Tellqvist is confident things will work out.
"I'm still up here (the Leafs are carrying three goalies) and we'll see what happens," he said. "I want to stay here (not get traded or claimed). I know what I can do. I've never been a (dressing room) problem here, I've never had trouble with the media."
Carlo Colaiacovo continues skating without headaches, but general manager John Ferguson has no further update on when he might re-join the main roster ... New defenceman Ian White has changed from number 37 to 7 ... The Leafs will be honouring late club chairman Steve Stavro at a game later in the season.
ON THE FARM
Veteran defenceman Brown has cleared waivers and is expected to report to the AHL Marlies.
Meanwhile, the Leafs are leaning toward leaving first-round draft pick Jiri Tlusty with the Marlies rather than have him go to the Ontario Hockey League's Soo Greyhounds.
Ferguson and his staff were scheduled to talk to Tlusty yesterday afternoon.
Wherever the gifted forward ends up, Ferguson would like to see him participate at the world juniors in Sweden later this year.
"I think it's a great experience for the development of any young player," Ferguson said of the young Czech winger.