Nabokov keeping up

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

San Jose coach Ron Wilson was asked if goalie Evgeni Nabokov would be able to keep up with a huge workload of games, now 43 starts and counting.

"Yes," Wilson said with a straight face, "until Curtis Joseph gets here."

Wilson couldn't hide his laughter for any longer, referring to a TSN report that the Sharks and Flames are the two finalists to acquire the free agent Joseph, just back from a successful stint for Canada at the Spengler Cup.

"Geez, if Cujo wants to come here and sit on his butt for the next 40 games, fine," Wilson said.

Wilson did say that he will soon get some of the young goalies in the organization some work, such as Thomas Greiss, the current back-up.

The Leafs have also made a call to Joseph TSN reported last night on its web site.

LEAF 'EM BE

Wilson, a former Leaf defenceman, made it clear to a big Toronto media throng before his morning press conference that he would not be discussing the visiting problems.

But Joe Thornton enjoyed all the attention the Leafs brought to town.

"I just giggle, especially being a Toronto boy," Thornton said. "But they'll find their way out of it. All teams go through it, in either their first or last 10 games. They'll get their act together."

Jeremy Roenick said his concern was for Mats Sundin.

"It's a credit to his mental well being," Roenick said of the scrutiny the Leafs captain is under. "It's hard when every newspaper page in front of you has your team on it. But I've been in cities where hockey is ignored. There are a lot of sports teams in Los Angeles and in Phoenix, we were behind the Cardinals and the Suns. But I like San Jose. It's a good fit for me."

Roenick said he is considering a media career when he retires, having done a good job as a TSN analyst during his down time. Though born in Chicago, he has close friends and business ties in Toronto and would make the move north.

LOOSE LEAFS

After flying all the way from Chicago to be with the Leafs, Justin Pogge didn't even make it in last night's game as a back-up. Andrew Raycroft, who has been realistic about his faults to the media and determined to work his way back in the lineup, rode shotgun ... Wilson has posted an inspirational message from an American D-Day veteran in the Sharks locker room, in which the soldier described how his unit took out a machine gun nest as a team, rather than trying to be individual heroes. "Guys who do it by themselves always get killed," Wilson said of the lesson he was trying to get across.


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