Steen, Toskala could offer spark

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- A change in goal might be just half the story for the Maple Leafs tonight at the Honda Center.

In addition to upgrading Toskala's status to "day to day" after his first long practice in almost three weeks, coach Paul Maurice yesterday worked winger Alex Steen on the right point of the struggling power play, replacing defenceman Pavel Kubina.

While neither move is a certainty -- Toskala still must get through today's morning skate before clearance to face the Ducks -- it perked up the last practice prior to three hard tests in the next four nights.

The Leafs, mired at 27th in NHL power-play efficiency before last night, with no heavy shot since Bryan McCabe broke his hand midway through last month. Fellow defencemen Kubina, Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo have not clicked with pass-happy quarterback Tomas Kaberle at the point, though the whole unit is at fault.

"We have to move off the boards and be less predicatble," Maurice said, "move our feet and have some urgency.

"This is not a shot against Pavel, who we'll work into our other unit. But we need a left-handed shot there and Alex has played point before."

Steen did it on a power play featuring the Sedin twins, no less, on the off-side wing, when all three played for MoDo in Sweden during the NHL lockout. Steen, who has seven goals and 19 assists this year, briefly played point for Sweden's world junior team, too.

"It feels good that Paul has given me a lot of different tasks lately," said Steen, who was promoted to the first line with Mats Sundin a few games ago.

Steen has a good shot, but his speed and creativity are just as vital on the unit.

Toskala hopes to start tonight, with the only possible complication being another game tomorrow in Los Angeles. Maurice knows how much Toskala wants to be 100% to play his old team, the San Jose Sharks, on Saturday, and stare down old pal Evgeni Nabakov at the other end. For now, Andrew Raycroft and Scott Clemmensen remain on the trip. Toskala is 2-2 in his career against Anaheim, 6-2 against the Kings.

Reminded the Leafs are 1-4-1 using Raycroft and Clemmemsen in his absence, Toskala shrugged and said: "I can't worry about that ... just worry about what I can control. I had a good workout today, but I'm the only one who knows when it's time to play."


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