Pair waiting on deck

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

The Maple Leafs went into juggling mode before last night's game, changing goaltenders, activating Alexei Ponikarovsky, demoting Kris Newbury and moving centre Kyle Wellwood and defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo to the on-deck circle.

Newbury's demotion to the AHL Marlies was as much a vote of confidence in pint-sized scorer Simon Gamache as it was a rough start by the fourth-line centre.

"Kris had some bad breaks against him," coach Paul Maurice said of a 22-second span last week against Pittsburgh where Newbury's mistakes led to two Penguin goals. "Kris had a great camp, but it's tough to play just four minutes a night (as opposed to around 20 with the Marlies).

"Simon has come in and played well (points in all three of his games before last night)."

Maurice still is hoping that Wellwood (hernia) and Colaiacovo (knee) can play tomorrow against Chicago. The demotion of Newbury means the Leafs don't have to drop anyone to add the injured pair and stay under 23 on the roster.

DOLLAR DAZE

The Leafs have received their first pay cheques of the season, knowing that a salary in US dollars puts them in the hole when the loonie has topped the greenback.

'It's definitely something that changes the way you think about spending," said American-born defenceman Hal Gill, who has a wife and daughter.

"It was nice for us (when the American dollar was worth a quarter to 30 cents more). Toronto is an expensive city, but you have to live with it."

Forward Wade Belak rolled his eyes at the subject.

"If I do another contract, it'll be in Canadian dollars and have (a clause) to go back to American if the dollar changes."

LOOSE LEAFS

The big blue and white motivational sign in the Toronto dressing room has been changed from Conn Smythe's war-time motto: 'Defeat Did Not Rest Lightly On Their Shoulders' to 'The Price Of Success Is Hard Work'. Maurice said it was an organizational decision made after training camp ... It will come as little comfort to Bryan McCabe, but the NHL has awarded Monday's own goal to Sabres' Paul Gaustad after originally crediting Ales Kotalik ... Scott McKay's new nickname could be Suitcase, as in Gary Smith. McKay, the ex-Leafs equipment man, now a pro rep for Mission-Itech, used to play net in practice when a Leafs goalie was sick or resting, and yesterday, when Tomas Vokoun hurt his foot, the Panthers called him in the morning to spell off Craig Anderson.


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