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Balanced attack leading to victories

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by John McCauley


TORONTO - Heading into the season the Toronto Maple Leafs hoped a balanced scoring attack would propel them through an 82-game schedule and it appears their wish is coming true.

Five different Leafs supplied the offence --including two goals from Gary Roberts-- as Toronto won their fifth straight, 6-4, over the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.

Roberts scored his eighth and ninth of the year giving him five markers in his last five games. Corson scored a goal and added two helpers, while Dmitry Yushkevich, Robert Reichel and Darcy Tucker all added tallies.

The goals were supposed to come for Roberts but Corson, Yushkevich and to a lesser extent Tucker have been pleasant surprises for the Eastern Conference leading Leafs.

Shayne Corson has recorded six points in his last five games.
Last season, Corson scored eight goals after signing as a free agent in the summer of 2000. Panic attacks slowed him in his first season with the Leafs but he has been able to conquer that problem. The veteran centre has racked up that same number of goals in 44 fewer games this year.

"We're working really well together right now and hopefully it gets better and better," said Corson giving credit to his linemates, Alex Mogilny and Tucker. "We're starting to figure each other out a little bit, feel comfortable with one another and know where we are going to go. We have to play hard, play well defensively and that will create chances the other way."

The goals are great for Corson's confidence but Head Coach Pat Quinn didn't need to see the offence to understand how valuable his play is to the team.

"To me that is how you might describe a Shayne Corson, as a all-around player," Quinn said. "It looks like he's got that good feeling back. He didn't need to score goals for me to feel good about the kind of work he can do for us."

Corson set up the Yushkevich and Tucker goals for a three-point night bringing his total to 19. Yushkevich's goal was his fifth, which also matched his total from last season. The veteran has been leading the Leafs defensively the past few seasons and now he is seeing results in the offensive end.

"It good to see him get rewarded for all that hard work he does," Curtis Joseph said. "He got an assist off his toe there and it's nice to see."

Mats Sundin leads the team with 17 goals but the fact Toronto has two others (Tucker and Mogilny) with double digit goals, plus Corson, Reichel and Roberts sitting on the door-step, gives the team a good indicator of future success.

Teams facing Toronto don't know who to cover and often they leave the wrong man open resulting in scoring chances and ultimately wins. Just look at the last five games and you know that goal-scoring depth is helping the Leafs win hockey games.

NOTES: Tie Domi fought his way into the Leafs record book becoming the team's all-time penalty minute leader passing Tiger Williams. ... Former Leafs Captain Doug Gilmour was honoured as a member of the Leafs Top-25 players of all-time. He was given a long standing ovation for his contributions in Toronto. ... Alexander Mogilny currently holds a five-game point streak (3 goals, 9 assists) and the Leafs have a record of 15-1-0-1 when he records a point. ... The Leafs have scored 12 powerplay goals in their last 34 chances, including 10 markers in their last five games.

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