Leafs do line dance

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:52 PM ET

TORONTO - Reuniting Clarke MacArthur with Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski for the third period on Saturday night in Montreal was done primarily to awaken the offence that had struggled all night.

Coach Ron Wilson returned Phil Kessel with Tyler Bozak while newcomer Joffrey Lupul moved down to a unit with Kris Versteeg and Darryl Boyce.

“You do that trying to get something going with a line that’s been successful,” said Wilson. When asked if the configuration could carry over to Tuesday’s game in Boston, Wilson said: “It’s something to think about.”

Wilson will consider just about anything to get Kessel going, but admitted he wasn’t necessarily a good mix with Grabovski and Kulemin.

“They have to communicate and make sure they’re all on the same page,” Wilson said prior to the Montreal game. “It’s up to Phil to be a part of the line as well. He’s got to help make those guys better as well as them trying to make him better.”

Power Down

Safe bet that a focus at Monday’s practice again will be the power play, which was a miserable 0-for-5 on Saturday and is now just three for its past 45 attempts.

“In practice, we move it around but we have to win the one-on-one battles,” Leafs centre Bozak said. “We’ve got to get in front of the goalie and create some traffic and maybe get some chances.”

On almost all of the power-play attempts on Saturday, the Leafs were outworked by the Canadiens, who had a couple excellent short-handed chances.

“If there’s a 50-50 puck and you are hungry enough on the power play, you should be able to keep the puck alive and we didn’t do enough of that,” Wilson said.

Hey Junior

What a season of experience it has been for Leafs prospect Jerry D’Amigo, who decided to leave behind his NCAA career at RPI to play for the Marlies late last summer.

The team has been relatively pleased with his progress on the farm and feel the young American benefitted from his play for Team USA at the world junior championships in Buffalo.

And now D’Amigo has been loaned to the Kitchener Rangers, who held his OHL rights, to add to the variety. In five games prior to Sunday night, D’Amigo had three goals and six assists for a nice start to his major junior career as the Rangers load up for a playoff run.

Loose Leafs

It’s clear the Leafs badly miss the energy and feistiness of winger Colby Armstrong when he’s out of the lineup. Saturday’s loss saw them slip to 3-11-3 without him ... With that defeat to the Habs, the Leafs didn’t lose any ground as they remained eight points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff position. That was guaranteed to change on Sunday evening, however, as the Thrashers and Hurricanes — tied for eighth at 60 points — faced each other ... Travelling hasn’t exactly been kind to the Leafs, who are 1-6 in their last seven on the road and now have back-to-back away dates in Boston and Buffalo on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Leafs are tied for the league worst in away points with 21 and are on the road for 14 of their remaining 26 games ... Versteeg on hearing his name mentioned in potential trade talks: “I don’t hear much of it except from my family and friends. They all want to know where I’m headed.”


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