Coach Maurice feeling fine

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Coach Paul Maurice is not easily fazed by media speculation of his job being in jeopardy. He kidded with reporters the other day that he and Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford felt that their team played better during the many times Maurice was supposedly on the block in nine years with the team. The duo wondered if they shouldn't cook up such a rumour themselves when they required a big game.

But in a serious vein, winger Darcy Tucker vowed the Leafs would not be distracted by talk of a management or coaching change.

"We leave that to the people upstairs," he said. "We just all have to pull together and work as hard as we can."

PRICE IS RIGHT

The Canadiens expect to use rookie star Carey Price in goal against the Leafs again here tomorrow, likely facing Vesa Toskala after Price and the Habs beat Andrew Raycroft in overtime on Nov. 13.

Raycroft wasn't too shocked that Maurice reached for the hook a few minutes into Saturday's loss in Glendale, Ariz. He was gone after seven shots and two wild rebounds that led to goals by the light- scoring Coyotes.

"Nothing surprises me in this game any more," Raycroft said of the quick exit. "But it was the second of a back-to-back on the road, we'd lost the first one and (Maurice) had to shake things up. The first goal, the puck hit some part of my body and came out strangely, but you definitely can't start a big game that way."

LOOSE LEAFS

The Leafs get an update today on winger Jiri Tlusty, who had an undisclosed injury in Friday's loss to Dallas and was replaced by Bates Battaglia against Phoenix. General manager John Ferguson was confident Tlusty would be ready to play Montreal and that winger Chad Kilger (bruised leg) could be ready as well ... The Leafs could hear more about a revised 2008-09 schedule with more Western games at this week's NHL board of governors meeting ... It was 24 years ago today that the Leafs played their first regular season overtime game.


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