Pavel Kubina did not return to the Maple Leafs lineup last night after all.
The defenceman was at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston in the morning but then departed for Ostrava in the Czech Republic, where his girlfriend Andrea was about to give birth.
Kubina has been out since Oct. 9 becase of a knee injury but was slated to play against the Bruins. The Leafs do not expect Kubina back in time for their game at home tomorrow against the Montreal Canadiens.
The plan had been for Kubina to head home after tomorrow's game, with his girlfriend to be induced on Monday. But Mother Nature called early and Kubina had to charter a plane yesterday. It's probable Kubina will return in time to play next Thursday in Boston.
"That is a long ride so I am not sure if it's just to go in, kiss the baby and turn around," coach Paul Maurice said. "I think we will let him sit down and hold it for a while."
Kubina's absence came a couple of days after Alex Steen's girlfriend gave birth to a boy in Toronto.
OFF TO KITCHENER
John Pohl's girlfriend, Krissy Wendell, is captain of the U.S. women's hockey team and is competing in the Four Nations Cup in Kitchener. Pohl was planning to attend the U.S.-Sweden game today.
Though the couple lives together in Toronto, Pohl said the merits of the neutral-zone trap or the best way to score on a breakaway rarely comes up.
"Hockey is what we do, but we don't sit around and talk about it," Pohl said.
"It's not what most people would think."
Goaltender Andrew Raycroft had a different wrinkle on the Leafs schedule. The Leafs play the Bruins four times this month after meeting the Ottawa Senators four times in October. "It would be nice if they spread them a little bit," Raycroft said. "Or just play them all in one week. We wouldn't have to travel back and forth so much."