TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have been winning recently [url=http://www.cowboyscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-bo-scarbrough-jersey]Bo Scarbrough Super Bowl LI Jersey[/url] , but at the same time their injury list is growing.
The Maple Leafs are expecting the return of star center Auston Matthews from a shoulder injury soon, perhaps Saturday night when they play the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre. Matthews has missed eight games.
Toronto also has questions about the status of defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, goaltender Frederik Andersen and center Leo Komarov.Article continues below ...
The Canadiens know all about injuries, having lost defenseman Shea Weber for the season after surgery on a tendon on his left foot, while goaltender Carey Price has returned to practice after being out with a concussion since Feb. 20 and there is no time frame for his return.
Captain Max Pacioretty suffered a knee injury March 2, and the prognosis at the time was that he would be out from four to six weeks.
The matchup between the NHL’s oldest rivalry has lost some of its bite because the Canadiens are out of the playoff race while the Maple Leafs will qualify for the postseason and are playing for seeding.
Zaitsev has been ill for the past five days [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-authentic-billy-price-jersey]Billy Price Super Bowl LI Jersey[/url] , and on Wednesday night the Maple Leafs lost Andersen to an upper-body injury during the second period of the win over the Dallas Stars.
Toronto lost Komarov to a left knee injury Thursday night in the second period after he was in collision with a teammate in the 5-2 victory over the Sabres in Buffalo.
“I think he’s going to be fine,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said after the game Thursday. “Obviously, a lower-body injury there. He tells me — I just saw him walking around — he tells me he did good on all the tests, so I don’t know if that means missing a game or if that’s playing the next game.”
“Whenever a teammate goes down it’s tough,” Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak said. “I don’t know the extent of anything yet, but hopefully it’s nothing serious. Obviously [url=http://www.authenticsseattleseahawks.com/cheap-byron-maxwell-jersey]Byron Maxwell Jersey Elite[/url] , he’s a big part of our lineup and it won’t be an easy spot to fill. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go next game.”
The Maple Leafs did not practice on Friday and Babcock was not sure after Thursday’s game how long Andersen might be out. Backup Curtis McElhinney replaced Andersen on Wednesday and started Thursday.
“I thought Mac was real solid,” Babcock said. “He’s been like that all year. I think Mac feels real good about himself, he knows when he goes in he’s going to play well. He’s got himself on a good roll. Obviously, with Freddie (Andersen 3/4 out — I don’t know with Freddie, we’ll know more tomorrow. I don’t know what the scoop is on Freddie.
“If Freddie has got to be out a little bit, then he’ll go. If Freddie is going to be right back [url=http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/antonio-callaway-jersey]Wholesale Antonio Callaway Jersey[/url] , we’ll just go with the same rotation.”
As for the Canadiens, Price told reporters Friday that he would like to return this season.
“I would like to finish the season strong, obviously, and end it on a positive note,” Price said. “It’s going to be a long summer of preparation. … Definitely been a frustrating year for everybody. I think a lot of guys learned a lot of lessons this season and definitely have a motivated summer.”
Price has not been cleared to play yet but traveled with the Canadiens to Toronto after Friday’s practice. Charlie Lindgren is expected to start in goal Saturday.
The Canadiens scored the first two goals Thursday in the 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Line after line they come at you,” Montreal right winger Brendan Gallagher said. “You make a mistake and you spend a couple of minutes in your own zone. That wears you down as the game goes on. … We’re disappointed with the result but we were playing one of the best teams in the league. You can see why. It was a struggle for us tonight to create offense.”
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