Leafs face off with Acton

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

If Saturday's faceoff duels in Detroit had been in the OK Corral, the Leafs' centres would have quickly ended up buried in Boot Hill.

Toronto was a miserable 19-45 in the dots, 5-18 in the defensive zone, prompting assistant coach Keith Acton to keep Mats Sundin, Michael Peca, Matt Stajan and John Pohl behind at practice for a chat.

"We just threw around some ideas," said Pohl. "Staje and I just listened to Mats, Pecs and Keith because they've been around a long time and probably taken a million draws.

"It's a huge part of today's game, especially with puck control."

Head coach Paul Maurice said the faceoff woes bothered him on Saturday.

"We felt there were things (Detroit) was doing very well, that we were unable to stop or unable to address with the officials," Maurice said. "We need to find a different way. A young guy (Stajan or Pohl) isn't going to tell a linesman how to set the box up. We just talked about what we have to do if we get into that again. Mike's numbers are usually pretty good, but the shot block on his hand didn't help his performance."

CHANGING OF THE GUARD?

Mothballed defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo could play tonight, while Pohl could get an increase in ice time.

"Carlo is closer," Maurice said. "But I don't consider that a major shakeup. We'll give others more of an opportunity in terms of minutes played and special teams. But it won't be a 20-game, see-how-you-play (experiment). You've got to go, right from the get-go.

"We're heading back to the four-line rotation and if you work your ass off, you'll have a chance to get on the top three."

ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES

In a disturbing sign, captain Sundin and assistant Tomas Kaberle each took a pair of minors in Detroit. among 14 power plays granted the Wings. Those two Leafs are usually the club's Lady Byng candidates.

"There were strange penalties to be honest with you," Sundin said. "But playing a skill team such as Detroit, Buffalo and also Tampa coming in tomorrow, we can't have that many penalties and expect to win. That's one thing, but we have to improve in a lot of areas."


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