A week into Toronto Maple Leafs training camp, Joffrey Lupul is ready to participate.
The 29-year-old winger, who’s been out with a back injury, skated with teammates for the first time this season on Wednesday, taking line rushes alongside center Tyler Bozak and fellow winger Phil Kessel.
Lupul, who was held out of action with back spasms, missed pair of exhibition contests against Philadelphia. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready to play in Thursday’s tilt against Ottawa, though one suspects the Leafs won’t rush him back to action given his importance to the club.
This marks the first season of Lupul’s five-year, $26.25 million extension signed last season. It also marks an opportunity to put aside the health issues that marred his 2013 campaign.
Lupul missed extensive time last season with a broken arm, concussion and suspension but, when healthy, was a dynamic presence. Lupul scored 18 points in 16 regular season games and three goals in seven postseason contests against Boston, second on the team to Kessel (who led, with four).
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.