No piling on Pogge

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Vesa Toskala has seen this routine before -- a poor defensive effort in front of his team leaving the goaltender shell-shocked. So the veteran starter said he sympathized with rookie Justin Pogge's turn in the shooting gallery in Wednesday's 5-0 loss to the Sabres.

"I think he was playing really (well)," Toskala said. "Every goal (the Sabres scored) was a good goal. Without him, there could have been bigger numbers on the board and I told him that."

Leafs coach Ron Wilson said the Leafs need to play better in front of whoever is in net and felt Pogge couldn't be blamed for any of the goals in Buffalo.

"We've got to cut down on chances and we need more saves," Wilson said. "We have the worst save percentage in the league and that's got to improve.

"Any goalie is going to take his goals against personally and he should. But I talked to (Pogge) last night and none of those goals were his fault and he understands that."

Wilson said the plan is still in place for Pogge to get more action with his next start scheduled to come sometime in the next couple of weeks.

CALLING KRONWALL

The Leafs placed Toronto Marlies defenceman Staffan Kronwall on waivers yesterday in the hopes of getting him in the lineup for tomorrow's game against Montreal.

If no other team claims him by noon today, Kronwall will be free to join the team for the opener of its three-game road trip.

"He's been our best defenceman (with the Marlies) and we think he deserves a chance," Wilson said. "Hopefully we'll see what he can do (tomorrow) night."

Wilson feels the Swede, who has seven goals and 18 assists in his 42 AHL games this season, is ready to get another shot at the big leagues.

"If he gets picked up, good for him, he'll get to play in the NHL," Wilson said. "He's done everything we've asked of him in the minors."

LOOSE LEAFS

Though there wasn't much time spent working on offence, Wilson juggled the lines at practice yesterday. The former unit of Matt Stajan, Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky was reunited while Jason Blake and Dominic Moore skated with Nik Hagman. That left Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski with Lee Stempniak ... With Pogge sent back to the Marlies yesterday, the Leafs recalled defenceman Jonas Frogren, who took a tough hit from Jamal Mayers early in practice ... The Leafs have given up 23 goals in their past five games and no less than four in any of those .. The blanking in Buffalo was the fifth for the Leafs this season.


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