Home not so sweet for Leafs

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

With an 8-10-4 home record prior to last night's game against the Boston Bruins, the Maple Leafs hardly have shown a home-ice advantage this season.

And with no goals in their previous two Air Canada Centre contests, Leafs coach Ron Wilson wondered if his players might be getting too tight on their own ice.

"We show anxiety at home, performance anxiety," Wilson said following the morning skate. "I think what we've just got to do is find a way to relax early. It seems to be the last four or five years with the Leafs. The team doesn't seem to play as well at home as it does on the road."

To that end, the coach said he was planning to have injured Mike Van Ryn in the dressing room to help keep the team loose.

"I've asked him to be in the room because he has the ability to have fun and relax some guys," Wilson said. "Don't go out nervous and show more energy coming on to the ice."

Nik's in, Jiri is out

With Leafs winger Nikolai Kulemin recovered from an ankle injury and back in the lineup last night against the Bruins, Jiri Tlusty's latest stint with the big team came to an end.

Kulemin had missed the past four games and returned to his regular spot on a line with Nik Hagman and Mikhail Grabovski.

Tlusty, who has four points in 15 games with the Leafs this season, was returned to the Marlies where he was expected to be in the lineup for last night's game in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Minor swap

The Leafs dealt minor leaguer Robbie Earl to the Minnesota Wild yesterday in return for minor league left winger Ryan Hamilton.

Earl had one assist in nine NHL games with the Leafs and will report to the Wild's AHL farm team in Houston. Hamilton, a 23-year-old Oshawa native, has never played in the NHL.

Prior to turning pro, Hamilton played four seasons (2002-06) for Barrie of the OHL. In 2005-06, he led the Colts with 46 goals in 63 games.

Earl played in 36 games this season for the Marlies earning 10 points.


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