Wilson's high praise

TERRY KOSHAN

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Ron Wilson saw enough of Igor Larionov and Glenn Anderson in their playing days to vouch for their induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame tomorrow night.

The Maple Leafs coach goes back 25 years with Larionov, who was at the Air Canada Centre yesterday during the Leafs' morning skate. Wilson appeared in 177 games in the NHL with Toronto and the Minnesota North Stars, but went up against Larionov and the formidable Russians (then the Soviet Union) when he spent a couple of seasons playing in Switzerland.

"We played against them at home, and lost 7-5, to probably the best team in the world," Wilson said. "Their puck possession, you just chased the puck all night. It was a conditioning night, something like a bag skate."

How about going up against Anderson?

"I remember how fast and how dirty he was," Wilson said. "A lot of people talk about that, sneaky dirty, how wild he was with his stick. It would be unfair to say he was great because of who he was playing with (during the Edmonton Oilers' dynasty days). He was a great player in his own right."

GOING FOR A RIDE

Wilson has not been a fan of the Leafs' fall-behind ways.

"They're kids," Wilson said of his youthful club. "I don't like roller-coasters, I'm a little older. But they are the generation that loves to go to those parks with six roller-coasters and spend the whole day on them. I get a little nauseated."

Wilson won't argue with the exuberance as long as a solid work ethic is part of the deal. So far, it has been.

"From my point of view, I don't really enjoy it, but it sure is entertaining to watch," Wilson said.

CUP STANDARDS

Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Larry Robinson, in Toronto for the Hall festivities, was asked about the differences in winning the Stanley Cup now compared to when he played.

"It's not just a given you are going to win the Cup," Robinson said.

"I think it's why players cherish it so much, because it is so damn hard to win."


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