November 28, 2011
Sunny days for Aulie
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
ANAHEIM – From a snowstorm in Newfoundland to sunny, hot weather in southern California.
No wonder defenceman Keith Aulie was smiling on Sunday afternoon.
Summoned from the Toronto Marlies on Saturday morning, Aulie spent all of that day on the road. He flew from St. John’s, where the Marlies were playing, to Toronto. After a four-hour layover, Aulie hopped on a plane to Los Angeles and landed at 10 p.m.
“They called me at the hotel and said: ‘Good news, you’re going across the continent,’ ” Aulie said. “I woke up (Sunday morning) and went for a nice walk. Quite the different weather.”
Aulie appeared in 40 games for the Leafs last season, scoring two goals and recording 32 penalty minutes. Aulie, who was acquired in the trade in January 2010 in the deal that brought Dion Phaneuf to the Leafs from the Calgary Flames, had no points and 17 penalty minutes in 15 games for the Marlies this season.
“I have been getting better all the time,” Aulie said. “I had a bit of an injury but got through that. Felt like I have been physical and tough to play against. I played against other team’s top lines. Role I like the best. Any time I can by physical, the rest of my game comes around.”
With Aulie recalled, the Leafs sent defenceman Korbinian Holzer back to the Marlies. Holzer was with the Leafs for three games but did not play.
The Leafs’ top line of Joffrey Lupul, Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel features two of the top scorers in the NHL in Kessel and Lupul, but they’re not getting it done without solid contributions from Bozak.
“If you look at the maturation of the other two players on the line, Tyler is clearly coming into his own, and he has really worked hard to get there,” general manager Brian Burke said. “Phil has been unconscious. They work together well. Lupul does a lot of the heavy lifting to get loose pucks. It’s a good line.”
With James Reimer close to returning from concussion-like symptoms — it’s probable he plays in one of the two games against the Boston Bruins this week — the Leafs in all likelihood will return Ben Scrivens to the Marlies. Scrivens mostly has been solid for the Leafs, but he needs to play in close to every game to keep developing. Jonas Gustavsson has been good, and Scrivens can be sent down without having to clear waivers first. There’s nearly no chance the Leafs will carry three goalies ... Clarke MacArhthur’s parents, Dean and Deborah, were on the trip. “They really enjoyed it,” MacArthur said. “We went out to dinner a few times. It’s always nice to have your family with you.”