Colaiacovo limping

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

Carlo Colaiacovo was walking with a limp in his right leg after last night's game against the Montreal Canadiens, the victim of what he believes was a slew foot by Saku Koivu.

"What can you do?" Colaiacovo said. "It was the same thing (as his injury on Sunday in New York when Petr Prucha took his legs out). I think I'll be fine."

Colaiacovo's goal triggered Toronto's three-goal comeback.

"It was huge and I'm not saying that just because I scored it. The building had gone flat before that."

GOALIE DEBATE

The Canadiens' decision to play a rusty Cristobal Huet ahead of Jaroslav Halak in goal will be discussed all summer.

"When you give the Leafs a chance with the power play they have, it's tough," coach Guy Carbonneau said. "A lot of (media) said we wouldn't make the playoffs. But we came close. We made a lot of strides with young players."

SCRUBS DON'T DRESS

The Maple Leafs made no lineup changes for last night's game, meaning scrubs such as Jeff O'Neill, Travis Green and Wade Belak sat for an eighth straight game.

O'Neill, a 20-goal scorer, has been the most glaring absence.

But coach Paul Maurice didn't waver with his lineup, including centre Kyle Wellwood, who has been having trouble finishing games since returning from sports hernia surgery.

O'Neill, soon to be a free agent, could be done as a Leaf.

"I'm not playing so I have nothing to say," the winger said prior to the game.

Belak said most of the black aces generally understood Maurice was not going to make any changes after the split with the Buffalo Sabres March 23-24. That hasn't made extended practices and game-day skates any easier to bear.

"You'd like to make a contribution, to get involved and feel part of the team, but at the same time, not want to be a distraction," Belak said. "You're trying to be supportive to the team.

"But there could be (playoffs) and with the injuries we've had, you want to be ready and not be holding guys back when they put you in."

START OF A NEW HAB-IT?

Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau agreed the Toronto-Montreal rivalry has lost a bit of its edge in recent years.

Up until the end of the 2003-04 season, an average of 17 points separated the Leafs and Habs in the standings and there has been no playoff meeting since 1979.

"Maybe this game will start another one," Carbonneau said hopefully.

Asked in jest if he prefered to be playing a game such as last night's in a neutral city with less media coverage, Carbonneau looked at about 25 media yesterday morning and said "all these people would come out if they played this game on a river."


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