Practice for the kids

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

The Maple Leafs are headed to the great outdoors once again.

With about 250 students from St. Elizabeth Catholic School and Bloordale Middle School looking on, Mats Sundin and his teammates will hold their 11 a.m. practice this morning at The West Mall Outdoor Rink in Etobicoke. The workout will launch the newly refurbished rink by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. in conjunction with The Home Depot.

The Leafs originally had planned to hold the event on Feb. 5, but frigid temperatures forced the team to practise inside.

Organizers at the time were concerned for the safety of the children, who would have been forced to deal with windchills around minus-34 C.

CZECH MATES

When injured Maple Leafs defenceman Pavel Kubina watched in horror as his buddy Tomas Kaberle lying motionless on the ice at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey Friday night, he immediately jumped into action.

"Thirty minutes after the hit, I was at Kabby's house," Kubina said. "I knew Kabby's parents are in town and I wanted to make sure they were okay.

"While we were there Kabby called from (a New Jersey hospital). He didn't feel well but at least his parents had the chance to talk to him."

Nursing a fractured finger, Kubina stayed back in Toronto while the Leafs made their short trip to New Jersey. He was watching the game on televison when the Devils' Cam Janssen nailed Kaberle to the ice.

"It was a dirty hit," Kubina said. "There is no denying that."

HOGTOWN BLUES

Should the Maple Leafs miss the playoffs, they need only look at their abysmal home record to find out where it all went wrong. Only the Philadelphia Flyers have less points on home ice (17) than the Leafs (29).


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