Setback for Antropov

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Santa Claus didn't leave a lump of coal in Nik Antropov's stocking. It just felt that way.

Having missed the past 11 games because of an ankle injury, Antropov was hoping the holidays would provide a quick return to the lineup.

But it was not to be.

"Nik tried skating for the first time today and it didn't go as well as he would have liked, unfortunately," general manager John Ferguson said last night.

No timetable has been placed on a potential return for Antropov.

Meanwhile, Maple Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo sat out last night because of nausea.

POGGE THE PUGILIST?

Wade Belak isn't concerned about having his enforcer's role taken away by Justin Pogge.

But he did have some advice for the young Maple Leafs goaltending prospect, who was given the heave-ho from yesterday's Spengler Cup game between Canada and EHC Eisbaren Berlin for getting into an altercation with former NHLer Kelly Fairchild.

Fairchild also was ejected.

"He did pretty good," Belak said of Pogge. "I always like it when a goalie stands up for himself.

"I just saw him skate out there and punch the guy."

Belak was asked what advice he would give Pogge that would be helpful the next time a potential scrap presents itself.

"He's got to drop the oven mitts," Belak said. "Get rid of the gloves.

"Listen, I'm not worried about my job. (Pogge) should actually stick to stopping the puck."

The Canadian team, which also features Marlies defenceman Jay Harrison and is coached by former Leafs head coach Pat Quinn, meets Davos today in the final.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL?

Ferguson admits there has been plenty of chatter between general managers of late as teams search for a deal.

But he also warns there is no quick fix for an injury-ravaged Toronto team which is attempting to stay in the playoff hunt.

"When you have five guys out like we do, you are not going to solve that with one trade," Ferguson said.

"We still have to look long term."


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