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Sundin get new mates, Leafs lose composure

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by John McCauley

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin found himself on a new line but results remain the same for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Tre Kroner line of Sundin, Mikael Renberg and Jonas Hoglund was unveiled yet again by GM/coach Pat Quinn in a disappointing 5-2 loss to the Canadiens. The change didn't do much to avoid another loss in the midst of their seven-game homestand.

"They were our best line for much of the year last year. I hoped it would give us a lift," Quinn said. "Really we've had one line doing the scoring and it's been special teams."
Ron Hainsey gives this Leaf something to think about.
Graig Abel Photography

For the first time in 12 games, Mats Sundin found himself skating without Alexander Mogilny. They compiled 15 points each while playing alongside each other but their defensive game had fallen by the wayside. The Leafs' captain had an even plus/minus rating going into the game while Almo was a minus-1.

With that evidence it can be said the pair was giving up as many goals as they were creating. More than that though, the rest of the Leafs have struggled to create goals and spreading the wealth around was something Quinn wanted.

The real problem in this loss can attributed to an ugly third period in which Tie Domi and Wade Belak both took double minors in a 4-2 game. Both believed the calls were bogus, but in a tight game, with a lot on the line, players can't collapse mentally.

"Emotions boil over sometimes and they did tonight," Domi said.

"We took some really bad penalties," Quinn understated.

The focus now turns to what is wrong with this team? Is a shake up needed to get things back under control or is more patients the cure for the team's woes?

"We're a point now where we may have to makes some calls on our veterans," Quinn said. "To me when I started out looking at our group I have felt pretty good about them."

"We have some good individuals but we're not a good team right now."

Bryan McCabe, who scored his first goal of the season in the loss, doesn't think changing the roster is the answer.

"It's out of our hands," McCabe said. "I love every guy in this room and I don't think changing personnel is the right decision.

Notes: This year's Hall of Fame inductees Roger Neilson, Clark Gillies, Bernie Federko and Rod Langway were honoured before the game.
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