It might be time to start bubble-wrapping the Maple Leafs when they take the ice. Last night’s disappointing loss to Nashville saw two more Leafs players head off with injuries in Matt Lombardi and Mike Komisarek. Komisarek had been playing great hockey this season while Lombardi was part of the feel-good story of the year bouncing back from his concussion last season.
When you total it all up that makes six Leafs starters that are out with an assortment of ailments. James Reimer, Colby Armstrong, Mikhail Grabovski, and Clarke MacArthur are all already out for varying amounts of time and now if Komisarek and Lombardi are thrown into the mix, the Leafs’ hot start to the season turns into a season-saving stretch.
With their latest injuries, it’s likely that Joe Colborne and Keith Aulie get the call to help save the ship for the time being. Colborne’s played well in the AHL but he too is coming back from an injury. It just never ends.
Glorious promise turning into crushing sadness should be nothing new in Toronto by now, but there’s only so much Phil Kessel and Ben Scrivens can do to keep things rolling in Toronto. Brian Burke won’t panic to fill holes here, but Leafs fans will just have to buckle up and hope that things don’t get out of hand while everyone works their way back to health.
With training camp and the preseason now in full swing, it appears the Bruins are bringing in a veteran blue liner — at least on a professional tryout.
On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that unrestricted free agent blue liner Christian Ehrhoff is about to join Boston on a PTO following his showing at the World Cup of Hockey.
In six games with Team Europe, Ehrhoff had three assists — all at even strength — and nine shots on goal.
Ehrhoff is now 34 years old, and the Bruins already have a pair of seasoned defenders in Zdeno Chara (39 years old) and John-Michael Liles (35 years old) on their roster. Adam McQuaid turns 30 years old in October.
He was most productive during two seasons in Vancouver, a puck-moving defenseman that could effectively skate the puck out of trouble and move the attack that way if need be. But that was from 2009 to 2011. His production has dipped, especially over the last three years.
He was also pivotal to Vancouver’s power play, especially in 2011 when the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy and made it to the Stanley Cup Final — against Boston.
Again, that was five years ago.
Lehner (forearm contusion) to miss preseason game versus Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.
“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.
“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”
(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)
Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.
The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.
McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious
It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.
The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.