Power-play clicking

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

The once-struggling Maple Leaf power play has finally discovered some teeth, although captain Mats Sundin feels they have been there all along.

Part of the Leafs recent resurgence on the scoreboard can be attributed to their improved production with the man advantage. The power-play has clicked for at least one goal in eight of the team's past nine games, finding the net 10 times in that span.

Noting the Leafs had difficulty clicking on the power play earlier this season, Sundin said: "I don't think it was a case of a lack of chances. We just weren't putting the puck in the net at that time.

"It's pretty much the same guys as last year. We just, for some reason, couldn't find any consistent success until recently.

"Realistically we should be in the top 10 or 15 power-plays in the league every year."

Despite the recent hot streak the Leafs' power-play was ranked 25th in the NHL entering play yesterday, hitting on just a 16% clip.

"We've been getting back to basics," defenceman Bryan McCabe said. "We have to keep shooting the puck and jamming the net."

A year ago the Leafs were successful on 17.7% of their man advantage opportunities, good enough for 15th in the NHL.

DEVILS UPDATE

In a strange scheduling quirk the Leafs face off against the New Jersey Devils twice this week at the Air Canada Centre. The visits represent the Devils only two trips to Toronto this season.

The Devils find themselves a point behind the eastern conference-leading Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins in a race that could go down to the wire.

The Devils were relatively quiet at the trade deadline, opting only to pick up defenceman Bryce Salvador before the trade deadline Tuesday.

"We wanted to get a little more size and strength at defence, and he certainly brings that," Devils boss Lou Lamoriello told newjerseydevils.com. "His style of play fits with what what our system is, and that played a role in this."

After taking on the Devils tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre the Leafs will wing their way to Boston for a date with the Bruins Thursday before returning home to host those same Devils Saturday.


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