So what is it going to be?

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Reckless displays of fireworks are supposed to be illegal in this town.

But the 2007-08 Maple Leafs will dazzle with goals and scare a few fans with their defensive play before this show is over.

That was evident from the last two home exhibition games, with 19 goals and lots of explosions at both ends. Toronto beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-4 last night, as it got more definition of its top three lines, top six defencemen and a semblance of a power play.

But there remains a goaltending crisis and injuries that have exposed a lack of depth.

"This was a big step forward," captain Mats Sundin said, just 48 hours after Buffalo ripped the Leafs 7-2 and set off alarm bells in the city. "For some reason, we make it hard on ourselves and we're still allowing the unnecessary goals. But I like the way our lines looked."

Coach Paul Maurice, who had told everyone to take a deep breath and have a cup of tea after Wednesday's massacre, arranged for little bags of Earl Grey to be put on every seat in the media room when reporters came in after the game.

"It's not as exciting in here when we win," Maurice said. "But we have to get better defensively ... that's going to take some time, but we have to get more saves from (Andrew Raycroft and Vesa Toskala). That will help them and us."

Raycroft almost duplicated Toskala's tortuous night by getting beat on the first shot and allowed four of the first 13 to get past him, one more save than the Finn's poor showing against Buffalo. But Raycroft did stop all 12 third-period shots and from a big second-period power-play pad save, created an Ian White breakaway goal.

"When you haven't been in a game for five months, you lose your rhythm for those kinds of plays," Raycroft said. "It's probably the same thing for Vesa; little things like having never played in this building.

"People shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. We'll both be fine."

There is one more dress rehearsal tonight in Detroit for the Leafs, who improved to 3-2-2 in pre-season games. But tonight's lineup won't likely alter the top three units, with Sundin between Jason Blake and Nik Antropov, John Pohl between Chad Kilger and Darcy Tucker, and Matt Stajan between Alexei Ponikarovsky and Alex Steen.

The fight for jobs on the blue line intensified, with game star Andy Wozniewski emerging as a big winner with the game-winning goal and smart play in the defensive zone.

"I've got to keep it going," he said, knowing his fine work in previous camps went for naught because of injuries .

Bryan McCabe was the only regular defenceman to sit, showcasing Staffan Kronwall and Wozniewski.

Antropov and Ponikarovsky will be worked into the power play until Kyle Wellwood returns from injury.

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THE GOOD THE BAD

- Staffan Kronwall's Hail Mary pass sent Ian White away on a breakaway goal.

- Mats Sundin had two first assists on the power play in helping stake the Leafs to a 3-1 lead.

- Andy Wozniewski made some nice own-zone defensive plays inaddition to the winning goal.

- In the four pre-season games at home, the Leafs have given up 18 goals, a bad omen with so many ACC dates in October. For the second in as many home games, a Leafs goalie let in the first shot.

- Winger Boyd Devereaux, still trying to find his timing after a long layoff, took three minors before the game was 24 minutes old.

- Matt Stajan lost eight of his first 10 faceoffs.


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