Leafs play down injuries

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

The Leafs are back to being hazy about releasing injury information, but coach Paul Maurice insists the condition of winger Darcy Tucker and defenceman Bryan McCabe is not as severe as some media speculation.

"With Darcy it's 100% not a surgical issue," Maurice said of reports that he has a torn right ACL and surgery is imminent.

But he added that if the current plan of Tucker staying with the team for off-ice rehab is not successful then they obviously look at at other options.

Right now, it's expected there will be a three-week hiatus.

McCabe took himself out of the lineup in Pittsburgh because of a groin strain and the earliest he could come back is Monday's home game against Washington.

ANTON'S TALL TALE

This weekend is defenceman Anton Stralman's first real trip to New York City. The 22-year-old rookie agreed it bears little resemblance to his hometown of Tibro, Sweden, pop. 10,000.

"I think the tallest building there is four storeys," Stralman said with a laugh.

With McCabe out, Stralman will likely play again tonight against the Rangers.

Vesa Toskala is expected to make his third consecutive start in goal.

NEW RITUAL?

The Leafs, and defenceman Hal Gill in particular, might have found a successful new pre-game ritual.

At Thursday's morning skate prior to facing the Penguins, the dressing room sound system played Tessie, a rollicking tune by the The Dropkick Murphys, a Boston Irish band

Gill, a native of Concord, Mass., immediately knew it as a post-game anthem at Fenway Park, played with Dirty Water by the Standells after every Red Sox win. He belted out the chorus to Tessie. while Ian White and a couple of the European Leafs started humming it, too. The Leafs went on to upset the Pens 5-2, winning on the road for the first time in 10 games.


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