Raycroft eyes date with Isles

MIKE ZEISBERGER AND LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

Maple Leafs goaltender Andrew Raycroft was pleased with his progress yesterday after taking part in an intense workout with goaltending coach Steve McKichan.

Afterward Raycroft remained hopeful that he might be able to start tomorrow against the New York Islanders.

Raycroft has been out of the lineup since suffering a groin injury on Nov. 9.

Coach Paul Maurice said Raycroft could have played last night against the New Jersey Devils if circumstances called for it. The Leafs opted to play Mikael Tellqvist instead after scheduled starter Jean-Sebastien Aubin came down with the flu.

Don't breathe on us

Not only was Aubin too ill from the flu to play last night, he couldn't even stomach sitting on the end of the Leafs bench. He took a couple of warmup shots at game time and Maurice ordered him into the dressing room for the night.

"There was no point in him sitting there and breathing on everybody," Maurice said.

Aubin complained of symptoms after the morning skate. Told to rest at home, he came to the ACC in worse condition.

Thus, Tellqvist didn't get a chance to go through a 24-hour warmup routine with regards to sleeping and eating, but seemed none the worse for wear.

HE'LL NEED A NEW JERSEY

In one of the livelier fights this year, Cam Janssen of the Devils went at it with Wade Belak in the first period.

Janssen had objected to a Belak hit on a smaller Devil and went after Toronto's enforcer. The bout ended in a draw, but not before Belak succeeded in tearing off Janssen's sweater and upper body equipment.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT?

Fans have the opportunity to see the Maple Leafs work out during the Leafs Fund Open Practice today at the Air Canada Centre.

Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.ca. The cost is $5 plus applicable service charges with net proceeds benefiting the Leafs Fund.

Doors open at 10 a.m., about 30 minutes before the festivities officially begin. The practice starts at noon.


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