Â• The Maple Leafs survived a late scare Tuesday night to beat the lowly Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at Air Canada Centre.
Toronto’s scoring came from three of its blueliners (Ian White, Hal Gill and Bryan McCabe), but for my money, the best Leaf on the ice was Pavel Kubina. I’ve ripped Kubina on a number of occasions this season for his tentative play, but the big Czech has been much more confident and physical the last few weeks.
He isn’t getting major minutes, but Kubina is starting to look like a player halfway worthy of a $5-million-a-season contract. If only the same could be said for McCabe.
Â• One other note from that game: I was there and had a story to file immediately after it ended. By the time I took the media elevator down to head to the dressing rooms, it couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes since the players skated off the ice.
As I stepped out of the elevator, Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne walked past me toward the Flyers’ bus, fully dressed in his civvies. It was easily the quickest post-game change I’ve ever seen at the ACC. Gagne must really be ready for the season to be over.
Â• The Canadian national women’s team kicked off the preliminary round of the 2007 World Championship in Winnipeg Tuesday with a 9-0 win over Switzerland.
Swiss goalie Florence Schelling, who made more than a few great saves to keep Canada’s goal total in single digits, spoke after the game about her team’s performance.
Â“Our goal was to (allow) less than 10 goals,Â” Schelling told Sun Media. Â“That’s what we got, so I’m proud of our team.Â”
No truth to the rumor the L.A. Kings signed Schelling immediately after the game.
(Remember, The Hockey News.com will feature player diaries from each of Canada’s Jennifer Botterill and Julie Chu of Team USA beginning this Friday and running through the duration of the Women’s World Championship.)