Crowd pushes Green out

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

As a polished poker player, Travis Green knows all about odds.

Especially when it comes to being the odd man out.

When Green was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in early January, the Maple Leafs were desperate for bodies to plug in as part of their forward ranks. With the likes of Michael Peca, Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov injured at the time, Green immediately stepped into the Leafs lineup upon his arrival in Toronto.

Two months later, Tucker, Wellwood, Ponikarovsky and Antropov are playing again. Another forward, Yanic Perreault, was acquired at the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

The resulting logjam up front appears to have left Green as one of those on the outside looking in -- at least temporarily. He was a healthy scratch on Tuesday, when the Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2.

A faceoff and penalty-killing specialist, Green is the first to admit being frustrated at not registering a single point since joining the Leafs nine weeks ago.

"Any time you come to a team with so many injuries like I did with the Leafs, you know there is going to be a time when they all will return to the lineup," Green said yesterday after participating in an optional workout at Lakeshore Lions Arena. "It's a good thing because it's so important to have depth this time of year. That's the only way you can look at it.

"Obviously I would have liked to put up better numbers -- make that some numbers."

Green said there will be no bitching from him, no matter how little he plays.

"This time of year there is no room for complaining," he said. "Everyone wants to play a lot, but you have to take one for the team.

"I'm a big supporter of what this team is doing. I'm just happy to be part of it."


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