Kubina likely to play with Bell or Belak

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

How does Paul Maurice break up a good thing?

Will Fred and Barney -- aka 6-foot-7 Hal Gill and 5-foot-10 Ian White -- be split up despite their fine play of late?

Does the Maple Leafs head coach separate longtime partners Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe, two of the longest serving veterans on the team?

These are the questions facing Maurice concerning his defensive pairings entering the game against the Boston Bruins tomorrow night, one which marks the expected return of Pavel Kubina.

For the time being, Maurice is opting for the status quo. As a result, Kubina likely will line up with either Brendan Bell or Wade Belak, leaving the White-Gill and Kaberle-McCabe duos intact.

For the time being, anyway.

"We won't feel the need right now to alter the good chemistry going on, so chances are he'll be with Bell or Belak," Maurice said yesterday. "We'll run him out regularly at the start and see how his endurance holds up.

"Having said that, we still have a practice and morning skate for him to go through. About a million things can happen between now and the game. We've moved guys around before."

While most of his teammates enjoyed a day off, Kubina practised yesterday in preparation for his comeback from a strained medial collateral ligament injured on Oct. 9.

"It doesn't really matter who I play with," Kubina said. "I'm just happy to be back.

"I've played with (Kaberle) on the Czech national team. I played with Andy Wozniewski before he got hurt. So I don't really care that much, just so long as I'm playing."


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