Bruisers lovin' life with Leafs

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

Their career goal totals the past couple of years would not frighten many players.

Wade Belak, Ben Ondrus and Kris Newbury have exactly one post-lockout goal between them in 130 games, but the line engineered a meaningful marker on Monday in the first of consecutive games against the Boston Bruins.

The Leafs need an energy line to sustain them through a rash of injuries and though these mugs might be broken up as quick as Paul Maurice assembled them, they are enjoying their moment in the sun. Particularly Newbury and Ondrus, who started the year with the Marlies.

"Those two guys are going to hit everything they see, so it's nice to see one guy (Belak) on the line stay calm and allow it to happen," Maurice. "If you put three guys like (Newbury) on the line, the gloves would be off every 30 seconds."

DRIVES A SATURN

Maurice said he had a "soft spot" for his ex-Marlie charge Newbury, using a story about the latter's car as an example.

"I worked 10 years in the NHL and drive a pick-up," Maurice said. "I'm in the Marlie lot one day and there are five or six trucks nicer than mine. I'm thinking 'are these signing bonuses or what?'. But I get out next to this little green Saturn and it's Newbie's.

"So we re-signed him halfway through the year and told him he wasn't allowed to change his car. He's one of those guys who really competes."

Belak, used on defence and right wing and sparingly in both, loved getting eight minutes work on Monday.

"There's no pressure to score goals, just go out there and hit guys and keep it in their end," he said. "It's a great job."

Maurice also liked defenceman Bryan McCabe's game on Monday and not just for the two assists.

"I liked his defence," Maurice said. "Bryan and Tomas Kaberle, their offensive numbers are always going to be good, but when we have a much better chance of winning is when Bryan plays the way he did. He threw some good hits."


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