'Dirty' Flyers await

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

The Leafs had a few complaints about Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner barging in on Vesa Toskala's net Saturday, but they're sure to get really ticked when the Philadelphia Flyers bring out their snow plows this week.

"Philly's always physical, with basic big size up front and they crash the net," Leaf winger Alexei Ponikarovsky said. "They've always played a dirty style, grab you and hold you and try to stay on top of you. They have big size on their defence, too, but they're slower and maybe we can take advantage."

One of the most feared Flyers, loose cannon Steve Downie, has been scratched for two of the past four games with Derian Hatcher back from injury and coach John Stevens going with him as part of a seven-man defence. That includes ex-Leaf Jason Smith, who was allowed to get away from here for nothing in the prime of his career, but he's a possible 34-year-old free agent this summer.

The Leafs aren't exactly built to match the Flyers' size, having traded away Hal Gill, Chad Kilger and Wade Belak at the deadline.

"The Flyers are physical, but that won't be a problem for us," captain Mats Sundin said.

"If we play as we did against New Jersey, with 40 or 45 shots a night, we'll be (competitive)."

It's likely the Leafs will avoid seeing injured Flyers forwards Mike Richards and Joffrey Lupul. Neither is expected back in time for the two-game series.

POHL IN POSITION

Centre John Pohl, out since Jan. 31, has targeted next week for his return from a high ankle sprain. He is wearing a walking cast on his left foot, but intends to resume skating in the next day or so.

"Hopefully, I only miss three more games," said Pohl, who could be in uniform March 18 against the New York Islanders.

LOOSE LEAFS

Toronto now has given up the first goal in six straight games...The Leafs continue to add to their single-season club record for one-goal losses with 22 so far ... Sundin needs six more goals to tie Guy Lafleur for 20th in NHL history.


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