Coming to you live from the luxurious Holiday Inn in Trenton...
Without a game for a week, the as yet undefeated Toronto Maple Leafs are on the road for practice at the moment, which means the team's sizable media contingent also has to be on hand a couple hours outside of Toronto.
The Leafs are doing some team-bonding exercises with the military and skating every morning at the RCAF Flyers Arena in Trenton. Monday night, the team went out for a spin in a Boeing C-17 Globemaster and got to see the plane execute various manoeuvres and drop off cargo.
CFB Trenton has asked that the Leafs keep most of what they’re doing fairly hush hush, so more details than that aren’t really available. The team – and presumably the large crowds that have showed up to watch practice – will be here until Wednesday afternoon.
“Our players are getting out of this as much as hopefully the military gets out of it,” coach Ron Wilson said.
As for updates, here’s what’s happening with the roster:
- Tim Connolly continues to be very doubtful for a return to the lineup for Saturday’s home game against the Calgary Flames. He skated for just 15 minutes this morning and didn’t talk to the media as he continues to battle a mysterious upper body injury (believed to be his shoulder).
The team remains adamant Connolly, out since falling into the boards midway through training camp, remains day-to-day.
“He was sore today, so we backed off,” Wilson said. “There’s no surgery necessary.”
The Leafs schedule is fairly tightly packed once they get to Saturday, with six games in 10 days, so it could be that Connolly misses more time than initially thought. He’s currently on injured reserve to keep that roster spot open.
- Two players who will very likely make their season debut Saturday, meanwhile, will be winger Clarke MacArthur and defenceman Cody Franson. MacArthur’s been out for the first two games due to a suspension he took in preseason while Franson’s been a healthy scratch.
The Leafs will have to sit two others to get them in, with Colton Orr and Mike Komisarek the most likely candidates for time in the press box.
- MacArthur missed practice Monday with an elbow infection, something that required antibiotics through an IV and gave the team a bit of a scare. “It blew up a little bit,” he said. “We’ve got it under control now. Now I’m just trying to get my legs under me here.”
- And finally, Nazem Kadri is getting very close to returning from a knee strain. At this point, it looks like he’ll head to the Toronto Marlies for at least a few games to get back in shape and give Matt Frattin more time with the Leafs.
The Leafs lineup for Saturday currently looks like so:
MacArthur - Grabovski - Kulemin Lupul - Bozak - Kessel Frattin - Lombardi - Armstrong Steckel - Dupuis - Brown
Gunnarsson - Phaneuf Liles - Schenn Gardiner - Franson
Scratches: Orr, Rosehill, Komisarek