It may be close to seven years since the Toronto Maple Leafs were in a playoff game, but the passion of some of their fans never wavers.
In the case of one Toronto woman, that passion really stands out. Adelina Nigro is 98 years old, which makes her one of a dwindling number of fans who have clear memories of the Leafs' years as a perennial Stanley Cup champion.
Nigro showed her passion through her knitting needles. She knitted a blue-and-white toque for each member of the team and showed up in the Leafs' dressing room on Friday with some family members to hand them out.
"She asked if I was married," Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said. "So I still have it."
Wilson did not seem amused when a wisenheimer in the media pointed to the knit sweater he was wearing and said, "You think your toque is nice? Look what she knit for me. She says I'm her favourite writer."
Wilson looked like he was almost going to fall for it and then said, well, we better not say what he said.
When the Leafs play Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Saturday they will get one player back in the lineup and may see one depart. Back is winger Fredrik Sjostrom, who was out with a charleyhorse. The departure may be forward Colton Orr, who banged his head on the ice Thursday in a fight with George Parros of the Anaheim Ducks.
The fight only lasted a couple of seconds because Orr lost his balance, fell and hit his head. He felt woozy and did not return to the game.
Wilson said Orr was getting medical tests Friday afternoon to determine if he has a concussion. The coach said he does not know if Orr will be able to play on Saturday.
With the return of Sjostrom and winger Mike Brown back in the lineup after serving a three-game suspension, forward Marcel Mueller was sent down to the Leafs' Toronto Marlies farm team.