Bolts' brass angry

MIKE ZEISBERGER AND ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

With eight of its next 10 games on the road, the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning will be closely scrutinized by management.

"We're looking to see what kind of character they do or don't have," general manager Brian Lawton told reporters in Tampa yesterday, adding that a player not giving maximum effort "is not acceptable."

Meanwhile a day after Lawton told Sun Media a report by Hockey Night In Canada's Al Strachan was "B.S.," co-owner Len Barrie followed suit.

The report indicated a member of the team brass was diagramming plays in the dressing room during one of the Lightning's games in Prague last month. Apparently the insinuation was that Barrie was doing the charting, not Lawton.

In any event, Barrie described Strachan as a spaghetti salesman, a man who throws stuff at the wall and sees what sticks.

SCHOOL IS IN

Luke Schenn and forward Alex Steen joined students at Regent Park Duke of York Public School yesterday to help launch the Leafs@school program.

The web-based, community-oriented program will see the team visit a number of schools in the GTA, focusing on students from Grades 4 to 6.

"It was pretty cool to go inside and see how excited the kids are an how much the Leafs mean to these kids," said Schenn, who was serenaded with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. The Saskatoon native turns 19 next week.

Teachers interested in the curriculum, which includes subjects such as "Math with Matt Stajan and "Language with Jason Blake" can learn more at www.leafsatschool.com

KILLER STUFF

After a slow start, the Leafs have been strong when down a man lately, killing off seven power plays in a row and 17 of their past 19.

"They're just getting used to the system," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We're not taking as many penalties, we're not wearing people down and we've identified people who can do the best job."


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