Left wing has become a dangerous position for the Maple Leafs, with the injured Jason Blake and Chad Kilger missing practice yesterday.
Kilger has been out with a bad leg since a workout mishap on Friday and is doubtful to face the Boston Bruins tonight. Blake was at Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday but would not answer questions on his condition as he hurried from the rink.
Coach Paul Maurice said Blake was sore from a blocked shot, but expects Blake will play tonight. In a related topic, Maurice said he has no worries about Blake's two-goal total from 92 shots, reasoning Blake is firing some bad-angle drives to create rebounds for big linemates Mats Sundin and Alexei Ponikarovsky.
Defencemen Pavel Kubina and Carlo Colaiacovo are out indefinitely with knee injuries.
The Leafs had a built-in Grey Cup rivalry going in the dressing room at Lakeshore, with Saskatchewan-born Wade Belak and Winnipegger Alex Steen seated next to each other.
"We have a bet on the game, if it's okay to say that in the NHL," Belak said in a mock whisper.
He explained to an amused Steen how Riders fans like to hollow out a watermelon into a crude green football helmet.
"This will be the first trip to the big city for a lot of their fans," Belak said. "I just hope they find a good country bar downtown."
A camera crew from The Weather Network was at Lakeshore yesterday, interviewing players for a science story on the new $4-million dehumidification system at the Air Canada Centre ... Language is no longer a barrier for Nik Antropov and Ponikarovsky. Now Canadian citizens, the Kazakh and Ukrainian handled yesterday's Leafs In School appearance at Hillcrest Public.
"There are 82 games and one game does not make a season." -- defenceman Tomas Kaberle, advising teammates not to get carried away after beating Ottawa 3-0 on Saturday.