Fighting practice

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

The Leafs reacted to former tough guy Tim Hunter (along with fellow assistants Rob Zettler and Keith Acton) running practice yesterday by practising in a rough and tumble manner. In fact, at one point, defenceman Jeff Finger and forward Dominic Moore engaged in a heated wrestling match on the ice and had to be broken up by Pavel Kubina.

"We talked (about it) at the end of practice," said Hunter, adding that Finger cross-checked Moore "a little hard" into the boards to start it all off. "I said I like it. It's good, you guys compete, you're teammates, that's what we want."

For his part, Moore said afterwards that there were no hard feelings when asked if he and Finger had "kissed and made up."

"We made up, but there's no kissing," he said.

GOOD CANADIAN BOY

Ian White went from being a scrub who couldn't even scratch the Leafs' lineup the first 11 games of the season to a two-way player who has become immensely valuable to the organization.

After sitting out to start the season, White started nine games at forward and then moved back to a depleted defence core after injuries to Mike Van Ryn and Jonas Frogren. He has picked up seven points in nine games and is a plus-five on a team with a lot of minus players.

"It's just great to finally get the chance to put what I can bring out on the ice," said White, who was frustrated being scratched, but never made a big deal about it to the media. "I'm not a pouter, I'm not a whiner. I just got about my day-by-day business."

The fourth-year Leaf took a high stick from Atlanta Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk in Toronto's 6-3 loss on Tuesday night and ended up grappling with the Russian. Next time, he said, Kovalchuk won't be so lucky.

"Rarely would you ever do anything to a star player," White said when asked if he was surprised that the league didn't discipline Kovalchuk for the incident. "We can take care of it ourselves, we have three more games (with Atlanta). If he wants to run around like that, go ahead. But if he wants to fight, let's fight. No cheap shots."

AROUND THE RINK

The 17 consecutive games of not being out-shot is a Maple Leafs team record. The NHL record is 29, set by the 1999-2000 St. Louis Blues of which Jamal Mayers was a part. (Elias Sports Bureau) ... Toronto general manager Cliff Fletcher said yesterday that the media conference to announce Brian Burke as the club's new GM may not be until Monday.


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