Stajan stoked for trip

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

The Maple Leafs' schedule for the next week is a highlight of the season for many of the team's players -- at least the Canadian-born players.

Toronto plays host to the Montreal Canadiens tonight at the Air Canada Centre, then departs on a Western Canadian road swing for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign, with games in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. There usually are a lot of fans in blue and white when the Leafs play out west.

"(The fact) that we haven't been out west since (the 2005-06 season) is just wrong," Mississauga-born centre Matt Stajan said. "The Leafs should play every Canadian city every year and travel to every city every year. I'm really looking forward to it. They have a great atmosphere at those rinks everywhere in Canada. We have a lot of fans out west and it will be nice to play those guys and see (ex-Leaf) Kyle Wellwood in Vancouver."

Head coach Ron Wilson said he hasn't given the upcoming trek west much thought.

"But I know what the Maple Leafs mean in Canada, so it's going to be exciting to see the reactions when we're out west," he said. "I haven't experienced that for a long time."

"If you're not up for these games, there's something wrong," Stajan added, of tonight's game against the Habs. "Especially if you play for the Leafs."

BIG ANNIVERSARY

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Bobby Orr retiring from the NHL because of numerous knee injuries after only 12 seasons.

Wilson said he played against Orr only once.

"It was an exhibition game and I hurt my knee, which is kind of ironic, isn't it?" he said. "For me, he was the greatest player of all time. Hands down. It's not even close."

HABS UPDATE

The Habs, heading into last night's game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, were a stellar 8-1-0-1 this season, and though the played last night, they shouldn't be too fatigued against the Leafs. They have had five days off since facing the Islanders last Saturday.

Tomas Plekanec, Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn are playing well. After a slow start to the season the trio broke out in a 5-4 come-from-behind win against the New York Islanders with nine points. The Habs had trailed 4-1 in that game. Plekanec had just three points in his previous nine games but, along with Kovalev, had a hand in all but one of the Canadiens' five goals. Defenceman Mike Komisarek has played well against the Leafs, recording 48 career points with eight coming against Toronto, his second-highest total against any NHL team. The Habs have no injuries reported.


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