Steen remains confident

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

Alex Steen hasn't started to pick up where he left off offensively as an NHL rookie but he is not sweating about it.

The 22-year-old had 18 goals and 45 points as a freshman but has one assist in four games.

"I'm seeing more penalty killing and we (himself and linemates Michael Peca and Chad Kilger) are usually up against the top lines," Steen said. "It has been a little bit different for me than it was last year. I really like playing with Mike and Chad. It's easy to read off them.

"I feel I have been playing well and getting some chances. I am not concerned at all."

DEVIL IN DISGUISE

Alexander Suglobov will return to the Maple Leafs lineup against the club that traded him away but the fact he likely won't be a healthy scratch again tonight is good enough for him.

"I don't care who I am playing against, but I am pretty excited to go back to New Jersey and play against guys who I know really well," the 24-year-old Russian said. "I just want to play hockey right now. That's about it."

The Leafs acquired Suglobov from the Devils on March 8 for defenceman Ken Klee. In his only game in a Devils uniform, Suglobov, who split the majority of last season with Albany and Toronto of the AHL, scored his first NHL goal. That was against the Carolina Hurricanes last Dec. 17.

A defensive liability, Suglobov has been a scratch for three games after playing in the opener. If Wade Belak was not being placed on the blue line tonight to help compensate for the loss of Pavel Kubina, Suglobov probably would be out for a fourth consecutive game.

COACH LIKES LEAFS

Count Devils coach Claude Julien as an early season fan of the Leafs under Paul Maurice.

"They have kind of a new look," Julien told the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger newspaper. "They've still got their core guys -- Kaberle, Tucker and Sundin -- but they have a different look. Their coach has changed and they have a younger team. They seem to have a lot of jump and energy. I think we will be up against a pretty hard-working team."


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