Sundin continues to impress

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

At the age of 36, Mats Sundin continues to blow away his coaches and teammates.

"We're all lucky to play with him," John Pohl said after the Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Saturday night. "He is so unbelievable. He is a better leader and a better guy than he is a player and that says a lot because he is so good."

Barring injury, Sundin should set the Leafs franchise record for goals. Sundin has 386, three behind the mark of 389 held by Darryl Sittler. Sundin, who has 888 points with 23 games remaining, has a good chance of passing Sittler's team points record of 916 this season.

Sundin scored the kind of goal on Saturday night, which turned out to be the winner, that he wants to see more out of himself and giant linemates Alexei Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov.

Defencemen usually are powerless to do anything to guard against Sundin and the other two down low, and Sundin knows it. He gets his butt up and is impossible to check.

Oilers defenceman Steve Staios learned as much when Sundin kept him at bay and thrust himself to the front of the net to beat goalie Dwayne Roloson for the winning goal.

"We have three strong big guys and with the new rules, we have to take advantage," Sundin said. "We have been doing a good job with that except we're not taking it to the net hard enough. Little plays like that, with the new rules for the defencemen, they either have to let us go or pull us down."

Said coach Paul Maurice of Sundin's goal: "That was an incredible move because of the size and the speed that it happened at."

LOOSE LEAFS

Andrew Raycroft has 27 victories, only two off the 29 he had in 2003-04 for the Boston Bruins when he won the Calder Trophy ... Maurice hinted Brendan Bell will get a longer look at forward if Boyd Devereaux (wrist) can't play tomorrow night against the Bruins ... One of the bigger conundrums with the Bruins involves former Leafs first-rounder Brad Boyes. The Mississauga native was third in NHL rookie scoring last season with 69 points. But Boyes has struggled in 2006-07. In 57 games, Boyes has 27 points (nine goals and 18 assists). In 23 games since Dec. 26, Boyes has one goal.


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