After missing 12 consecutive contests, 27-year-old forward Tyler Bozak is set to play tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes, according to TSN’s Jonas Siegel. He might not be a star player, but that’s big news for the Maple Leafs.
Before he suffered an oblique injury, Bozak was averaging 21:04 minutes per game and playing in all situations. He wasn’t off to a good start on the draw, but that’s still an important aspect of his game and an area where the Maple Leafs have struggled mightily this season.
Plus, as Maple Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle noted, Bozak’s injury has stretched the Maple Leafs a little thin and forced players into roles they’re less accustomed to. This will certainly help solidify them up the middle while Dave Bolland continues to recover from an ankle injury.
Toronto has gone 5-5-2 during Bozak’s absence, with four of its five victories coming in either a shootout or overtime. The team has slipped away from the pack in the battle for the Atlantic Division title and is instead in danger of losing their playoff spot entirely. They have just a three-point edge in the race for the second Wild Card spot.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger