Maurice not worried

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

This wasn't the first time Paul Maurice had been asked if a devastating loss would have long-term consequences for his team's psyche.

"I don't feel the concern," Maurice said yesterday after Saturday's 6-1 loss to New York, with five of the goals coming on the power play. "This is no different than when we beat the Rangers 6-2 there (earlier this month). They seem to have gotten over it."

The Leafs did some fundamental shooting drills yesterday, hoping some of their snipers come in from the cold. With the halfway mark of the season coming up on Thursday, only three Leafs are in double figures. Jason Blake and Darcy Tucker have combined for only nine goals, none of them on the road.

Since a 4-0 win over Atlanta on Dec. 14, Toronto has just 11 goals in seven games.

"When you start to struggle putting the puck in the net, you start doing some strange things on the ice," Maurice said. "At this level of hockey, they want to be more creative and often it has the opposite effect."

By the latter stages of Saturday's loss, even composed Leafs such as Boyd Devereaux were showing frustration, while a number of Leafs took runs at Sean Avery, who it must be said was on his best behaviour and contributed an assist.

WOZ BOXED IN

Andy Wozniewski knows he won't help his own cause spending time in the penalty box every game. The young defenceman had an inside track on being in the top six defencemen this year, but has seen a reduction in ice time, was benched for a game last week and has racked up 44 penalty minutes, including minors that the the Rangers capitalized on Saturday.

"I'm trying be physical," the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Wozniewski said. "It's just the way it's gone this year; my game, the whole team's, everything."

Fellow defenceman Anton Stralman missed Saturday's game and yesterday's practice with the flu.

NEW YORK PUCK EXCHANGE

Toronto and New York have averaged seven goals a game in eight meetings dating back to last year.


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