Finger returns to Leafs

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:43 PM ET

Jeff Finger is finally getting the nod.

After sitting on the sideline as a healthy scratch for the past six games, Finger will replace Garnet Exelby when the Maple Leafs meet the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh at the RBC Center Friday night.

Finger has just one assist and is minus-6 thus far in four regular season games.

The game provides the Leafs with the opportunity to move out of the NHL basement, a dingy place they find themselves sharing with the Hurricanes at seven points each. A victory would give Toronto nine points, rocketing them into 29th spot in the 30-team league.

While the Leafs have reeled off at least one point in five consecutive games, Paul Maurice's Hurricanes are staggering with a 0-7-3 mark in their past 10 games.

"If you see a wounded animal, you jump on it," coach Ron Wilson said. "Of course, we are not a good enough team to say that’s going to happen."

Wilson would not confirm if Jonas Gustavsson would play back-to-back against the 'Canes tomorrow and Red Wings Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.

If Vesa Toskala does get one of those starts, the odds suggest it would be tomorrow in Carolina, thereby shielding him from the wrath of the home crowd at the ACC the following night.

"When Jonas makes a save at home, the crowd applauds," Wilson said. "When Vesa makes a save, they give him the Bronx cheer."

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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