Hockey Night off

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 2:34 AM ET

While they found it odd not having a Saturday night game for the first time in 12 seasons, Leafs players made good use of their off night this weekend.

"It's different for sure," said defenceman Tomas Kaberle, the longest-serving Leaf on the roster.

"It doesn't change anything for us -- we still have to get ready for (tomorrow's game against New Jersey) but it was nice to stay at home and watch the games on TV."

Other Leafs used the opportunity to go out on the town, including a dinner party that included Jeff Finger, Luke Schenn and Jaime Sifers.

"I'm just trying to use the days off to settle in and take some time for myself and relax," Sifers said. "(Saturday) was a big day for me to relax on the couch and then grab some sushi with some of the guys."

Though having a Saturday night off has been a rarity in recent history, the Leafs also are dark on Dec. 27 and again on Jan. 17.

HAGMAN'S HEADACHE

It's been a week and counting since Leafs forward Nik Hagman was forced out of the game with a concussion after taking a knee to the head against the Washington Capitals on Dec. 6. The injury appears to be worse than originally feared, however, as Hagman -- who has eight goals and 11 assists -- has yet to return to practice.

"It's a concussion, a day-to-day thing," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said yesterday. "Until he feels better, he won't be in the lineup."

WHITE KNIGHT

The more he plays, the more defenceman Ian White gains confidence that he can be an important part of the Leafs' future.

"The better you play, the better you feel, the better your mind feels," said White, who was a healthy scratch for the first 11 games of the season but has been in the lineup ever since and scored the game winner against Buffalo on Friday night. "Every shift, if you can do something positive out there, you are going to get more confident and it just snowballs."


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