Nazem Kadri; Keith Aulie

Bozak on IR, Kadri’s chance to really shine begins

Injuries create opportunities and for Maple Leafs rookie Nazem Kadri, that chance might be now.

The Leafs put forward Tyler Bozak on injured reserve which will put him out of action for at least the next three games. Bozak was hurt after crashing into the boards on Friday night.

Injured forward Matt Lombardi will likely come back to take his place in the lineup, but Kadri, who has impressed of late for Toronto, could be the guy to make the most of the opportunity. Since being called up over a week ago, Kadri has three goals in four games and has shown that maybe he’s worthy of being the first-round pick he was back in 2009.

The Leafs are eager to see what Kadri can do but with Lombardi’s return coinciding with Bozak’s injury, they may be more comfortable leaving Kadri in his current spot in the lineup. If he keeps pumping in the goals, however, earning some time with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul could be in his future.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.