Cujo to start for Leafs

Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph won his last game against the Sens in Ottawa. (Sun Media/Errol...

Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph won his last game against the Sens in Ottawa. (Sun Media/Errol McGihon)

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:41 PM ET

OTTAWA -- The way Ron Wilson sees it, Martin Gerber has taken enough abuse in the Nation's Capital so the Leafs coach isn't about to serve up the easy story line for tonight's game against the Senators.

To the disappointment of an anxious group of Ottawa media, Wilson opted to go with goaltender Curtis Joseph in tonight's game, spoiling Gerber's chance to get a win against the former team that bounced him up and down from the minors.

"Cujo won here last time and played well," Wilson said of the lightly used backup. "Cujo's always played well in this building and with back to back games, it made sense."

Wilson said he didn't want to let the Ottawa fans get in Gerber's face during his one game return, especially since the Leafs coach believed the veteran netminder was given an unfair ride during his stint here.

"I just sense the opportunity (Ottawa media would take) to mock him," Wilson said. "He doesn't deserve that. He's played really well the two games he's played for us."

Joseph has a long history against the Sens, especially from his previous stint with the Leafs. His lifetime record of 15-14-1 with a goals against average of 2.66 was boosted earlier this season when he led the Leafs to a victory over the Sens on Feb. 28.

Gerber sounded mildly disappointed at not getting the opportunity to show up the team that had abandoned him, but will likely get the chance when the two teams meet in Toronto later in the season.

"It would be nice, but there's plenty of action the next few days," Gerber said of getting the night off. "It was nice to go home and see family.

As for the way he was treated by the team and the fans, Gerber said he has done his best to shrug it off.

"There's nothing you can change," said Gerber, who was picked up on waivers on last week's trade deadline day. "Whatever happened, happened. You have to move on."

In other Leafs developments, Wilson confirmed that defenceman Mike Van Ryn is finished for the season and is expected to undergo knee surgery for a torn MCL. The good news for the hard-luck defenceman was that it wasn't a more serious tear and Wilson figures the Leaf should be able to return to normal activity within eight weeks.


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