Bolland gives himself 50/50 chance to play before Olympic break

Toronto Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland made it clear to TSN that he believes his chances of returning from an ankle injury before the Olympic break rest at “fifty-fifty.”

“We’ll see,” Bolland said. “If I’m ready then I’m ready …”

Here’s video of the unfortunate incident in which he was cut by Zack Kassian’s skate in early November:

It’s easy to say that the 27-year-old should just take a measured approach with the Olympic break so close, but it’s just as easy to ignore the toll months of rehab can take. Bolland admitted that the process has been “grueling” to TSN.

So far, it seems like the pesky center has been a nice fit in Toronto, too; he has 10 points in 15 games. That’s just one fewer point than he managed in 35 contests with the Chicago Blackhawks last season.

The Maple Leafs have these games remaining before the break:

Saturday: vs. Ottawa
Tuesday (Feb. 4): at Florida
Thursday (Feb. 6): at Tampa Bay
Saturday (Feb. 8): vs. Vancouver

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.