Stajan's gaffe fits best

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Paul Maurice could've illustrated his point about playing simple hockey with any number of gaffes committed by his team in Monday's 7-1 loss to Washington.

But a first-period giveaway by Matt Stajan, resulting in the game-winning power-play goal, fit best. Stajan had the puck and the option to ice it, but tried to dipsy-doodle to get in position to pass to a breaking Alex Steen. Michael Nylander checked him and Matt Pettinger wound up with the goal.

"It's a time of the game where we don't need to do that," Maurice lamented. "We didn't clear. We saw a short-handed goal. We have difficulty accomplishing a simple game."

DEVIL'S DEN

On Friday, the Leafs will be the third team to visit the New Jersey Devils new home, the Prudential Center in Newark.

"The place holds 17,625," New York Post columnist Jay Greenberg noted, "room for all the coaches Lou Lamoriello has ever fired."

The Devils had about 94% of their subscribers follow them from the Meadowlands, but drawing steady crowds, despite ample train service, is expected to be a challenge. The team has lost almost all its recognized Cup stars except Martin Brodeur.

The Prudential Center's proximity to New York is expected to put heat on the Rangers to build a new Madison Square Garden.

QUEST FOR POTSIE

Nik Antropov has a long way to go to lead the NHL in plus-minus, battling near the top with a plus 11 before last night's games.

But he would not be alone in club annals with such a feat Believe it or not, defenceman Alexander Karpovtsev, the injury-prone Leaf brought in at the start of the Pat Quinn regime, ended up leading all players with a plus 39 in 1999-2000. Karpovtsev started that season by playing two games for the Rangers at a plus 1 and was plus 38 in 56 games with Toronto.

WHEN FARMING WAS FUN

As the Marlies enjoy some early success, it's worth noting the New Brunswick Hawks were the last Toronto-sponsored AHL club to win the Calder Cup in 1981-82. The Leafs shared that team with Chicago, contributing such players as NHLers Mike Kaszycki and Dave Farrish.


Videos

Photos