Razor vs. Eagle

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

The first scrap between The Razor and The Eagle just doesn't have the hype of a Rocky movie.

But pitting Andrew Raycroft against predecessor Ed Belfour tonight is significant, given the difficulties of setting up an Belfour -- Curtis Joseph goaltending duel in the years after the latter surrendered the No. 1 job in Toronto.

Though Alex Auld has played well for the Florida Panthers, the 41-year-old Belfour is expected to be in this evening after beating Jean-Sebastien Aubin 4-2 in the Sunshine State last month. Auld lost to Raycroft in a shootout early in the schedule, but Raycroft doesn't think he's under heavy pressure this evening to show the Leafs they made the right move in buying out Belfour and trading for him.

"I've never met him and I don't know him," Raycroft said of Belfour. "He's a Hall of Famer without a doubt. But I've said it before, (the opposing goalie) doesn't score goals."

LOOSE LEAFS

It was 89 years ago today the new NHL's first games were played. The Toronto Arenas were beaten 10-9 by the visiting Montreal Wanderers, while the Montreal Canadiens triumphed 7-4 over the Ottawa Senators. The Arenas/St. Patricks/Maple Leafs have played 5,663 games since ... General manager John Ferguson is not expecting to make a significant move before the NHL's midnight holiday roster freeze, which stops all player movement except for call-ups until midnight Dec. 27 ... Ferguson says injured forward Nik Antropov has been checked out extensively by doctors and has begun a re-hab program for a sprained ankle. But he remains week-to-week ... Goaltender J.F. Racine did not accompany the AHL Marlies on their recent three-game trip for personal reasons, but has rejoined the team ... Assistant coach Keith Acton seemed pleased with the results of an ambitious 5-on-5 drill yesterday that kept five players moving from one zone to the other, first as attacking forwards then down to the other end of the rink where five others were waiting to test them on defence.


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