Carlo up and down

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Carlo Colaiacovo must feel like a human yo-yo.

Marlies to Leafs to Marlies to Leafs ... it's enough to make a kid's head spin.

Check out this roller coaster week.

-- Friday: Scores the game-winner in a 4-3 exhibition victory over the Detroit Red Wings, but makes a late mistake that leads to a goal by Detroit's Kirk Maltby.

-- Saturday: Sits out Toronto's 4-1 exhibition win over Detroit, then receives the devastating news that he is being sent down to the American Hockey League's Marlies.

-- Monday: With Aki Berg, Ken Klee and Wade Belak nursing injuries, he and Staffan Kronwall get a late call to join the Leafs in Gravenhurst, where the team is working out.

-- Tuesday: Practises with the Leafs, then is omitted from the Leafs' 23-man roster that is submitted to the league.

-- Yesterday: With Klee's bruised heel and Belak's infected spider bite keeping both out of the lineup, Colaiacovo is called up and plays in the season opener against the Ottawa Senators.

Is that enough to make your head spin? Just imagine how the rookie feels.

"Listen, I'm just happy for the opportunity," Colaiacovo said after getting word that he would play last night.

"I know a lot of guys in the room. They're easy to get along with and everyone makes you feel part of the team.

"I just want the chance to show what I can do out there."

Heading into yesterday's morning skate, the only certainties involving the Leafs defence was that Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe, Alexander Khavanov and rookie Andy Wozniewski were healthy enough to play.

The Leafs soon discovered that Aki Berg was ready to go, too. Berg had been bothered by a painful rib injury that kept him out of Tuesday's practice in Gravenhurst.

"I feel a lot better," he said. "The couple of days off really helped."

With the addition of Colaiacovo, the Leafs had their six defencemen. Colaiacovo and Wozniewski were paired together like they were at times with St. John's last season; Khavanov lined up with Berg; and McCabe and Kaberle revived their longtime partnership.

Belak and Klee hope to be back for Saturday's game against the Montreal Canadiens

"If not, I'm sure it'll be early next week," Klee said.


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