January 2, 2010
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI AGENCY
The Leafs have struggled against goaltenders bound for the Olympics -- think Ryan Miller of the Sabres -- and tonight will face Finnish star Miikka Kiprusoff.
The Flames netminder is thrilled about getting his chance to go to Vancouver as the starter. "It's probably the only chance in my life to go to the Olympics," Kiprusoff said. "I'm looking forward to it."
The loudest boos at the Winter Classic yesterday at Fenway Park were not for the visiting Flyers.
Instead the biggest jeers easily came when Phil Kessel's name was announced as being part of the U.S. Olympic team.
But not everyone in the park was bitter at Kessel for wanting to bolt Beantown. Sitting in the famous Monster seats above the 37-foot-high wall in left field, several relatives of Bruins players told the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger to pass on their best wishes to Kessel and wanted him to know that he was missed.
WILSON CAN'T WAIT
Leafs coach Ron Wilson is starting to get jazzed about the Olympics. The dual Canadian-American citizen coached the U.S. team in the 1998 Nagano Games but also led the U.S. to the gold medal at the World Cup of Hockey in 1996. "To have another chance to represent the U.S. in the biggest showcase of all at the Olympic Games ... it's going to be a lot of fun," Wilson said.
Injured forwards Viktor Stalberg and John Mitchell continue to skate with the Leafs but neither will be in the lineup tonight.