Gilbert goes with the flow

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Marlies' coach Greg Gilbert admits there's a challenge to keeping the remainder of his farm team roster on track when so many are getting high-profile roles with the Leafs and the AHL team is giving up lots of goals and has a record of 15-19-5.

"You can't jump ship, you have to keep with the plan, keep showing the video, keep teaching," he said yesterday. "Hopefully some more of them will get their opportunity to realize their dreams and get up there and play. With our situation, a lot of guys are getting ice time they normally wouldn't.

"Jaime Sifers is a hard-working, first-year player, Tyson Nash has been outstanding for us the past month with the exception of a few early games when he was getting adjusted. He's working his backside off and showing good leadership by example.

"Erik Westrum got better in the last couple of weeks and had an opportunity with the Leafs. Jay Harrison works hard on defence ... you go right down the list and hopefully there are a few guys who will get a sniff down the road."

Leafs coach Paul Maurice says the Marlies know the ropes so well (both teams use the two-man forecheck) that little time is wasted in chalk talks.

"I'd have to say their staff is doing a better job than the last guy who was there," Maurice said, mocking himself.

STARS COME TO RICOH

Gilbert is keen to see which Marlies get AHL all-star game consideration. The game is at Ricoh Coliseum on Jan.29.

"All coaches send in a confidential ballot, but you can't vote for your own players," Gilbert said.

LOOSE LEAFS

Defenceman Andy Wozniewski continues a rapid recovery from right shoulder surgery, practising with the Leafs. "It won't be much longer, but it hasn't been three months (since the operation) yet," he said ... Maurice was jokingly asked his favourite memory of 1967 Leaf Cup-winning team. He was three months old.

"I think we used a fleece-lined blanket. More comfortable than burlap."


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