Schenn saves a point

ROB LONGLEY and MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

With yesterday's game headed for overtime, rookie Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn made arguably the most impressive play of his three-game NHL career.

Blues sniper Paul Kariya was about to dash in all alone on goaltender Vesa Toskala, only to have the puck swept away by a diving Schenn to help send the game to OT.

Many more plays like that and Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher said it will be difficult to send Schenn back to junior after nine games.

"We'll make whatever decision we have to make at the time we have to do it," Fletcher said. "He seems to be getting better every game. If he keeps going like that, the decision's not going to be very difficult."

GETTING IT RIGHT

Leafs coach Ron Wilson says the absence of right-shooting forwards puts his team at a disability in a shootout.

"Our problem in our lineup is a lack of right-handed forwards," Wilson said yesterday after going with Nik Kulemin, Nik Antropov (who both shoot left) and defenceman Pavel Kubina (right).

"(Having good right-handed shooters) is a huge advantage. Normally with most goaltenders you go that way."

SCUTTLEBUTT LODGE

With the season less than a week old, Fletcher already is finding himself diffusing rumours concerning potential deals.

One that had been making the rounds over the web suggested the Leafs were talking with the Phoenix Coyotes about procuring upcoming first-round draft picks; another indicated that diminutive defenceman Ian White might be on his way to the Valley of the Sun.

Having previously been employed by the Coyotes, it makes sense that Fletcher might be holding discussions of some sort with the Phoenix brass, except that he claims he has not talked with them since training camp.

"There is nothing to (those rumours)," he said.

With free agent Jeff Finger poised to return from injury, Fletcher said he has no problem carrying eight defencemen on the roster.

"You can never have enough," he said.

Fletcher said trade talks usually start heating up midway through November.


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