NHLPA feeling green

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Almost 20 Leafs, including Mats Sundin and Matt Stajan, are among those taking part in a new National Hockey League Players' Association enviromental program with the David Suzuki Foundation.

An estimated 350 players have offered to purchase 'carbon credits' at $290 each to offset the carbon footprint produced by their extensive travel schedule. Initiated by Bruins' defenceman Andrew Ference, the partnership will see the Suzuki Foundation act as an environmental resource to the union.

"It's important, as high profile athletes, to use our platform to deliver a message of environmental responsibility and accountability," Ference said in a statement. "Hopefully this will inspire our fans to follow suit."

NIK OF TIME

Coach Paul Maurice admits he's relatively new on the Toronto scene, but he could never understand the constant criticism of Nik Antropov. The nine-year Leaf is the talk of the town after five goals the past three games brought him to 14 this autumn.

"He was a free agent last year and I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd gone somewhere else," Maurice said. "Lucky for us, he didn't."

BOOSTER SHOT

In mid-November, the Leafs were 3-5-3 in games which they had 30 or more shots. But three of their wins since then came with less than 20 shots, including nine goals on 31 attempts against Nashville and the New York Rangers.

"I'd like to see us get around 45-50 shots," Maurice said, anxious to stamp out the idea the Leafs are going to trap mode. "If the number is down the past two games, it's because our power play hasn't got through to the net. But our last two power-play goals were basic, take-it-to-the net plays."

LOOSE LEAFS

Toronto has taken 2-0 leads in its last four games ... The Leafs were short-handed at least five times for a stretch of 10 straight games in October. In the last 12 games, they've not gone higher than four...Sundin is two points shy of tying Alex Delvecchio for 30th place in NHL history.

He enters the Boston game with 1,279.


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