Kaberle's magic potion

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

TAMPA, Fla. -- Whatever magic elixir Tomas Kaberle has been sipping to spruce up his offensive game, it appears to be working.

And no, Dick Pound need not be concerned that the veteran defenceman has been guzzling some kind of illegal grog to balloon his stats.

No, the secret ingredient to Kaberle's recent success is a combination of better skating and increased confidence, a mixture that has produced five goals in his past three outings.

Kaberle's first-period goal was among three the Leafs received from defencemen in last night's 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Hal Gill and Ian White also scored.

Compare that to the Lightning, which has yet to get a goal from a blue-liner this season.

"Obviously I had been pressing early in the season," said Kaberle, who entered the game against the Montreal Canadiens last Saturday with just two points (both assists).

"When things aren't going your way, you can't get down on yourself. You have to keep at it. Hopefully, I can keep things rolling."

With the game tied 2-2 early in the third, Eric Perrin appeared to give the Lightning the lead. But the goal was waved off when Andreas Karlsson was penalized for goalie interference.

Replays showed Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe gently nudged Karlsson into Andrew Raycroft, causing the crowd to boo McCabe every time he touched the puck. The Lightning, however, had no issues with the call.

"I didn't hear them (jeering)," McCabe said. "But no doubt he deserved the penalty."

Meanwhile, general manager John Ferguson was dealing with some interesting speculation back in Toronto. With NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell reportedly having turned down a lucrative deal to become the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, the theory making the rounds was that Campbell was waiting in the wings for the Maple Leafs job to open up.

Ferguson is in the final season of his contract. There have been informal discussions to this point, but nothing is etched in stone.

mike.zeisberger@tor.sunpub.com


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