From fringe forward at the start of the season, Dominic Moore has elevated himself to the point that he is being mentioned as a potential trade candidate for Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.
Moore, who is enjoying a career season and deserves credit for helping revive Leafs' leading scorer Jason Blake, becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
"You can block (trade talk) out but I think you are better off acknowledging that these things are out there," Moore said yesterday. "You can't run from the questions."
Moore has been moved on trade deadline day before. In 2007 he was dealt from Pittsburgh to Minnesota for a third-round pick.
Rookie Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn acknowledges it has been a rough couple of weeks, a stretch in which he has been minus-5 over the past five games and has been on the ice for some important goals by the opposition.
But Schenn vows that the odd off night isn't going to drag him down, especially as he continues to play in key situations and often against the opposition's top lines.
"A couple of games I've got some bad breaks, but the ability to bounce back is what I'm more worried about," Schenn said yesterday. "That's in the past. You have 82 games and not every game is going to be your best. It's how you respond that matters."
Saturday's five-goal third-period outburst against the Pittsburgh Penguins did more than hasten the firing of Pens coach Michel Therrien, it was a rare feat. It marked only the third time in franchise history that the Leafs had trailed after 40 minutes before outscoring their opponent by five in the final period. The previous time was a 7-1 win versus the Detroit Red Wings in 1960, the other a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens in 1936 ... Leafs defenceman Ian White's plus-5 rating in the Pens game matched the single-game high by any player in the NHL this season ... Call it the day of the weak. After last night's loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Leafs now have a 2-8-4 record on Tuesdays, easily their worst day of the week.