Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/21/06 at 12:32 PM ET
The NHL lockout, upon further review, apparently robbed the Maple Leafs of their franchise player. As the eighth-place Leafs attempt to fight through a significant January slump by going north to face their tormentors in Ottawa for two games over the next three days, the evidence suggests Mats Sundin is but a shadow of the consistent points producer and elite attacker who was part of the 2004 Leaf playoff team that lost in the second round. While New Jersey has used the return to health of winger Patrik Elias to power past the Leafs in the Eastern Conference standings and the Atlanta Thrashers have also been riding the hot stick of ex-holdout Ilya Kovalchuk to pass Pat Quinn's club, the Leafs have received nothing of similar impact from their highest-paid forward this season.more
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