Spezza thinks highly of Leafs

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Jason Spezza's pre-game take on last night's match with the rival Leafs was startling, yet one the Ottawa Senators are taking seriously.

"They're playing well and so are we ... this is a potential playoff matchup," Spezza said.

The prospect of a fifth playoff meeting with Toronto -- when the Sens still are living under a cloud of 0-4 -- would get the juices flowing in a season's series that suffered from overkill in the autumn, but concludes with a home-and-home series March 8-10.

"Toronto is playing well and just about everyone has the same game plan against us, get the puck out and get out of trouble," Ottawa's top gun Dany Heatley said. "Every team wants to shut us out. But our plan is to get the puck in."

Last night was new Senators forward Mike Comrie's first exposure to the Battle of Ontario after lengthy service in the Battle of Alberta.

"We know there's more than two points on the line, there's pride and the city," Comrie said.

HAS FERGIE LOST IT?

Readers who clicked on John Ferguson's blog on torontomapleleafs.com yesterday might have thought the GM was overly giddy from the recent win streak.

A mix up put a whimsical column by MLSEL's in-house columnist Mike Ulmer under Ferguson's picture, including the prediction that "Mats Sundin will never wear the toque he wore after practice (Friday) because it made him look like a Cabbage Patch doll," and that Darcy Tucker will grow weary of waiting for his foot injury to heal and simply cut it off.

LOOSE LEAFS

Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson says he's unfazed by the prospect of continued booing at the ACC whenever the Sens visit. "They boo me at home, too," he quipped ... On this date in 1968, Tim Horton's Leafs record consecutive games streak ended at 486 games. It had begun on Feb. 11, 1961 ... The Sens will hike ticket prices 4.5% in 2007-08, the first increase in four years. But they're confident they can hit the 13,000 mark in season's tickets to break a record. Not long ago, the franchise was in danger of moving


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