Aubin's time to shine

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

Many problems plagued the Maple Leafs in 2005-06 as they tumbled out of the playoff picture for the first time in eight years.

Playing the New Jersey Devils was not one of them.

The Leafs were 4-0 against the Devils, beating future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur all four times. Their final win against the Devils last year was March 26, when Jean-Sebastien Aubin won for the first time in a Leafs uniform and started a personal 9-0-2 streak to end the season.

Aubin will make his first start of the 2006-07 campaign tonight at Continental Airlines Arena.

"I think he is a good goaltender and I don't think these guys can sit out that long and stay sharp," Leafs coach Paul Maurice said of his decision to insert Aubin. "He has worked really hard. He had a good camp and the timing is right."

Aubin slipped out of Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday and did not speak to the media before the club flew to New Jersey. But his teammates are happy to see him get another shot. Aubin beat out Mikael Tellqvist in camp for the right to back up Andrew Raycroft, who has had a nice start to his tenure with the Leafs, posting a 1.45 goals-against average and .953 save percentage in four games.

"Aubin showed at the end of last year he is a really good goalie," captain Mats Sundin said. "Good for him to get a start."

As for their recent success against the Devils, Sundin said making up for past woes has been a motivating factor.

"They beat us out a couple of times and ended our season (in 2000 and 2001)and I think it is a good rivalry for us," said Sundin, who is three goals shy of 500 for his career. "We enjoy playing them and we enjoy the challenge going in there because it has been a tough building for us."

Devils forwards Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez are attempting to build on career years, but Maurice respects the Devils lineup overall.

"Their goaltender draws the spotlight, but they have retooled along the lines of the way the game is played now," Maurice said. "They never seem to have been huge names with Jersey. But I think they are always going to be a very good team as long as they have their goaltender."


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