The Toronto Maple Leafs will indeed be without winger Joffrey Lupul against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston confirms.
To head coach Randy Carlyle’s chagrin, Lupul injured his foot blocking a shot in practice on Friday. He wasn’t wearing shot blockers on his feet in practice.
It’s expected that Josh Leivo will take his spot in the lineup, although more focus will be on the belated season debut of big-ticket free agent acquisition David Clarkson. TSN’s Jonas Siegel reports that Frazer McLaren will also play his first game in 2013-14.
Clarkson appears primed to start out on a line with David Bolland and Mason Raymond.
Lupul’s had a strong start to the 2013-14 season, scoring 10 points – including six goals on 33 shots – in 10 games.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.