Night to forget for Leafs

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Mike Myers wanted actors masquerading as hockey players last night and he came to the right place.

The Scarborough-born star brought a full team of would-be Maple Leafs out for intermission filming of his The Love Guru movie, while those actually trying to define roles on the club bombed terribly in a 7-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Derek Roy was a one-man wrecking crew for the visitors, with six points and a natural hat trick, scored even-strength, power-play and short-handed no less.

Vesa Toskala took his lumps in goal as a cast that was just three men shy of the projected regular-season lineup looked far from ready for Wednesday's opener against the hungry Ottawa Senators.

"(Toskala) was riding the same bus as the rest of that group," coach Paul Maurice said in refusing to single out his new goalie. "There is no way to be slightly disappointed about this game."

A home-and-home series against the Detroit Red Wings remains, and Maurice still plans to give more game time to forwards such as Jiri Tlusty and Simon Gamache, plus one more start for Andrew Raycroft in net.

But no one last night did anything of note to enhance their chances of either making the team or moving to a higher profile position. Toskala allowed four goals on his first 12 shots, but there was some atrocious play in front of him. That didn't stop 18,892 from dumping on him every time the puck came close.

"I'm not discouraged," Toskala insisted. "We still have a week to get ready. (Last night) we just played a good team on top of their game."

Defencemen Staffan Kronwall and Anton Stralman had bad nights, but the veterans set the table.

"It's hard to try to make the team when it isn't playing well, but I'm a piece of that, too," Kronwall said.

Slightly nauseous first-line winger Jason Blake was kept out of last night's game, with Alexei Ponikarovsky and defencemen Ian White and the injured Carlo Colaiacovo also scratched. The Leafs are 2-2-2 in exhibition play and 0-2-1 at home.

"We have to realize the important stuff starts next week," said Sundin, who had Darcy Tucker experimenting on his right side last night with Nik Antropov. "It means getting our pace up. "

Three Sabre goals came on man advantages, including two on 5-on-3s , the other on a delayed penalty when five Leafs just stood around.

Until Matt Stajan set up Pavel Kubina for a second-period short-handed goal, the only cheering was for scripted end-to-end goals in the Myers' movie.

Chad Kilger helped his chances with a blast to make it 4-2, though it appears he'll stay at wing with Tucker on a line, possibly with John Pohl at centre. Pohl had an assist last night to extend the team exhibition points-lead to five.

The Leafs power play is 6-for-38 in pre-season action.

---

THE GOOD

- Matt Stajan's hustle resulted in a short-handed goal by Pavel Kubina.

- Kris Newbury, Wade Belak and Bates Battaglia gave a spirited effort despite the lopsided score.

- John Pohl's assist extended his team high to five exhibition points.

THE BAD

- Vesa Toskala allowed the first goal he faced for the second consecutive home game and stopped only eight of his first 12 shots.

- Anton Stralman and Staffan Kronwall were too jittery and made some basic mistakes.

- Winger Boyd Devereaux was a step behind everyone in his first game after returning from a foot infection and was victimized on two goals of the Sabres goals.


Videos

Photos