Status quo for Leafs

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

Going with the winning hand head coach Ron Wilson stuck with the same lineup last night as he had in Toronto's 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, sitting three healthy defencemen, Carlo Colaiacovo for the fifth time in the last six games, Ian White, who hasn't played in the regular season yet, and 28-year old rookie Jonas Frogren, who was a scratch for the second consecutive game, but not an entirely healthy scratch.

"He's actually a little bit banged up," Wilson said of Frogren. "He blocks a lot of shots and he's been dinged up doing that. He plays a real physical game so you'd expect that.

"That's why, and the way we play, you need as many defencemen as you can get, to get through the year," the coach added.

Wilson's expected to start Curtis Joseph tonight at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

OFFERING SUPPORT

Not only is Luke Schenn turning into a steady defenceman, he is also a pretty steady guy. Schenn called fellow rookie Steven Stamkos, his friend and former teammate on Canada's world junior and under 18 hockey club, for a chat and to offer his support on Monday night after Stamkos' Tampa Bay Lightning arrived in town. Stamkos, the first pick overall in the June draft (Schenn was fifth) after recording 105 points with the OHL Sarnia Sting last season, has struggled, only collecting his first career point yesterday.

Schenn said it is only a matter of time before his fellow 18-year-old gets on track at the NHL level.

"It's only eight or nine games in. He's going to be a heck of a player. And it's way too early to give him a hard time. He's going to be an all-star in the (NHL)."

GABBY GRABOVSKI

Leafs winger Mikhail Grabovski admitted he felt very relieved after scoring his first goal as a Maple Leaf on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.

"Now I feel better," Grabovski said.

"I'm forward, I need goal and assist every game ... not every game, but sometimes."

Grabovski, 24, has centred Toronto's No.2 line, between Niklas Hagman and Nikolai Kulemin. He said the bigger thrill than scoring his first goal as a Leaf, would have been scoring it against his former team, the Montreal Canadiens, the team that gave up on him after only two seasons and 27 games.

"I'm happy because my family is happy," Grabovski said of his regular playing time in Toronto, and the fact that head coach Ron Wilson is a big supporter. "My father every time told me: You're a good player. You an NHL player."


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