Nikita Soshnikov

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Deadline pickup Fehr to make Leafs debut

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Eric Fehr is expected to make his debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night a few weeks after being acquired by the team in a trade deadline deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He will draw into the lineup, taking a spot on the fourth line, because Nikita Soshnikov was injured in their recent game against the Boston Bruins.

The Maple Leafs, currently holding on to the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, will be in Columbus to play a Blue Jackets team that is contending for the Presidents’ Trophy.

The 31-year-old Fehr has not played for the Maple Leafs since being acquired along with Steven Oleksy and a draft pick in exchange for defenseman Frankie Corrado on deadline day. Corrado, by the way, just made his debut with the Penguins on Tuesday night their win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Fehr appeared in 52 games for the Penguins before the trade, mostly skating on the team’s fourth line, scoring six goals and adding five assists while also playing significant minutes on the penalty kill. He signed a two-year contract with the team as a free agent before the 2015-16 season and spent most of last season playing on the team’s fourth line during their run to the Stanley Cup.

He has not played in a game this season since Feb. 28 when he was still a member of the Penguins.

Patrice Bergeron angered by dangerous Nikita Soshnikov hit

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Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is one of the NHL’s most respected two-way players, a guy who sometimes stands in stark contrast to regular linemate Brad Marchand. That doesn’t mean you can’t make him angry.

Bergeron was understandably jawing at Nikita Soshnikov of the Toronto Maple Leafs after a dangerous boarding hit on Monday.

The good news is that Bergeron – a player who went through serious concussion issues earlier in his career – appears to be OK after that check:

Bergeron’s retaliation washed away the power play Boston would have received, as Soshnikov was only whistled for a minor penalty. Here’s that rare moment of the perennial Selke candidate losing his cool:

Video: Perreault hits Carrick; Soshnikov knocked into bench

Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets are trying to climb into their conference’s wild card spots, so it’s not too surprising that they’re engaging in a physical contest on Tuesday.

Two hits stand out, with one being worrisome and the other being fairly amusing.

As you can see above, Connor Carrick was shaken up by a hit from Jets forward Mathieu Perreault.

While that’s a cause for concern if Carrick is hurt, it seems like Nikita Soshnikov is OK after Chris Thorburn sent him about halfway into the Jet’s bench. Allow a mild bit of disappointment that Soshnikov didn’t take a full “seat” there. Those are the most amusing moments (unless you’re the frightened soul stuck in that situation).

With Marner out again Maple Leafs recall Frederik Gauthier from AHL

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will once again be without prized rookie Mitch Marner on Tuesday night when they take on the Winnipeg Jets.

The officially placed him on injured reserve Tuesday morning retroactive to Feb. 15. He suffered an upper body injury that night against the Columbus Blue Jackets when he took an awkward fall into the boards and has not played since.

With Marner placed on IR, the Maple Leafs made a corresponding roster move to recall forward Frederik Gauthier from the the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

Gauthier, a first-round draft pick (No. 21 overall) by the Maple Leafs in 2013, has spent most of this season with the Marlies where he has one goal and five assists in 26 games. He has also played 18 games for the big club, scoring two goals and an assist. He last played for the Maple Leafs on Jan. 31. He was skating on the team’s fourth line between Matt Martin and Nikita Soshnikov at the morning skate.

With 48 points in 56 games Marner is still the second leading scorer on the Maple Leafs, just one point behind No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews. Even though he is out tonight he will still be eligible to return on Thursday night when the team takes on the New York Rangers. Toronto has briefly fallen out of a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, sitting one point behind both the Florida Panthers (third spot in Atlantic Division) and Boston Bruins (second wild card spot).

Marner day-to-day after crashing into boards Wednesday

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Toronto rookie Mitch Marner is day-to-day with an apparent shoulder injury after being forced to leave Wednesday’s loss in Columbus.

From the Canadian Press:

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock says he doesn’t know if the star rookie will be able to play Saturday against Ottawa.

The 19-year-old winger missed practice on Friday morning.

Marner crashed into the boards late in the second period of the 5-2 loss to the Blue Jackets. He tried to stay in the game, but eventually departed for the dressing room early in the third.

Marner has a team-high 48 points in 56 games. The Leafs, currently clinging to the second wild-card spot in the East, certainly won’t want to lose the 19-year-old for long.

If Marner can’t go tomorrow, expect Nikita Soshnikov to take his spot in the lineup.