Mates stand up for Raycroft

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Matt Stajan pulled no punches when he said it was "stupid" for goaltender Andrew Raycroft to receive Bronx cheers during the Maple Leafs' 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

He was not alone in those sentiments.

Other members of the organization came to the defence of their goaltender, who was acquired from the Boston Bruins for Finnish goalie prospect Tuukka Rask during the off-season.

"If you especially look at the past two weeks, Andrew is a significant reason we have had some success," coach Paul Maurice said.

Defenceman Pavel Kubina took issue with the Air Canada Centre fans who jeered Raycroft.

"That's not right," he said."Razor has been a great goalie for us all year. Almost every night he has given us a chance to win."

MATS THE MEANIE?

Maurice was asked for one word to describe the recent ornery play of captain Mats Sundin, who has found himself in the penalty box with increasing frequency of late.

"Goon," Maurice said with a chuckle. "I can't control him.

"In all honesty, it shows he's passionate and he cares. I don't mind that. It's not like I'm going to be putting him in the stands."

LOOSE LEAFS

Leafs players and coaches will make their annual visit to the Hospital for Sick Children today, where they will spend time with young patients playing games and signing autographs ... Leafs TV announced it recorded its largest audience since the channel's 2001 inception with 147,000 viewers tuning in to the Leafs' 10-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

QUOTE/UNQUOTE

"One of these days he's going to hit the net with a bomb, he's going to kill the goaltender, the puck is going to go through the net and the goal judge is going to the hospital." -- Maurice, on forward Chad Kilger, who has been in a month-long offensive funk.


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