Sundin angered by Hedberg's trip

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

Johan Hedberg should have been red-carded.

Sorry. That's soccer. Wrong sport.

With the Maple Leafs and Atlanta Thrashers tied 1-1 in the shootout on goals by Nik Antropov and Slava Kozlov last night, Sundin appeared to have completed a deke of Hedberg and was poised to put the home side in the lead. But a sprawling Hedberg thrust his legs out and tripped the Toronto captain, causing him to lose control of the puck.

And when Ilya Kovalchuk beat Vesa Toskala moments later, the Thrashers had won the shootout 2-1 and the game 5-4, much to the chagrin of the Toronto captain.

RED CARD

"If that was soccer, that would have been a goal," Sundin said. "He took my feet out. I don't know what the rule is in hockey."

In soccer, a goalie receives a red card and is expelled from the game for tripping up an opponent inside the penalty area, even if he is going for the ball.

The incident was one of the few blemishes on Sundin's resume last night.

The big Swede was all over the ice, scoring the opening goal just 13 seconds into the game and later adding a pair of assists.

Showing no effects of the nagging hip ailment that plagued him in the final stages of last season, Sundin has racked up 17 points through the first 10 games of 2007-08. He has 29 points in the past two Octobers, the most of any NHLer in that period.

"He's been losing years with every game," coach Paul Maurice said of his 36-year-old captain. "He's really been fantastic. I just marvel at him."

Sundin said it is too early to discuss the team's shootout woes after the Leafs went 4-7 under that format last season. But both he and Maurice are concerned with Toronto's 3-3-2 record on home ice, something that must improve over the coming months.

MUST BE BETTER

"We're .500 at home in terms of points. Clearly we must be better than that if we want to make the playoffs," Maurice said. "We'd better be darn better on the road."

As for his hot start, Sundin credits winger Jason Blake for his part in the captain's early season success.

"His speed really helps my game," Sundin said.


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