Aubin is the chosen one

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

J-S Aubin will get the start in goal tonight when the Maple Leafs meet the host Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center, coach Paul Maurice confirmed last night from the Windy City.

Maurice waited to announce his decision until he had talked to both Aubin and fellow goaltender Andrew Raycroft on the flight to Chicago yesterday.

With the Leafs playing back-to-back games, Raycroft would seem like the logical choice to start against the Washington Capitals tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre.

Aubin will be facing one of the NHL's most dangerous snipers in Martin Havlat tonight, the former Ottawa Senator who has produced some dazzling moves that have landed him on a number of highlight reels.

Havlat did miss more than a month with an ankle injury but seems to be back in form now.

"He has to be considered one of the elite shooters in our game," Maurice said. "If you look at his point totals when he's healthy, he has to be considered part of that group. He's one of those guys who keeps getting points no matter what game plan we coaches come up with."

WINDY CITY WELCOME

Chicago native Bates Battaglia always has some good support from family and friends whenever he returns to the Windy City.

And he's not even on the hook for a wad of tickets, either.

"They see it coming ahead of time, so they go get tickets themselves," Battaglia said. "My first year they filled up an entire section, yelling and hooting. It was pretty cool."

LOOSE LEAFS

Toronto Marlie teammates Jay Harrison and Justin Pogge left last night for Davos, Switzerland, where they will take part in the Canadian entry at the Spengler Cup next week. The team will practise on Christmas day before stepping on the ice for its first game Dec. 26 under the guidance of former Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn.


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