Big Nik is down, again

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

As Nik Antropov lay crumpled on the Air Canada Centre ice yesterday, most observers figured the chances of seeing him in the lineup tonight in Boston seemed remote, at best.

Hours later, general manager John Ferguson confirmed that the lanky forward was unlikely to join his teammates for yet another encounter with the Bruins, Toronto's fifth in a month against its Northeast Division foe.

"(We) don't expect Nik in Boston," Ferguson said last night, referring to the right ankle injury suffered by Antropov in practice.

DOOR LEFT OPEN

The Leafs had left the door open for Antropov to fly to Beantown today in time for the game, but that appears moot now.

After catching his skate in a rut midway through practice, Antropov lay on the ice for a couple of minutes before being helped to the bench. He conferred with one of the team trainers before disappearing into the Leafs dressing room, then underwent an MRI yesterday afternoon.

Antropov has suffered a variety of ailments in his career, including the reconstruction of both knees.

Having seen his team drop three consecutive games against the Bruins, Maurice had Antropov lined up with Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky up to the time of the injury yesterday. Other units included Mats Sundin centring Jeff O'Neill and Darcy Tucker; Mike Peca between Alex Steen and Matt Stajan: and John Pohl centring Chad Kilger and Bates Battaglia.

With Antropov and Alexander Suglobov (back) sidelined, Wade Belak is expected to play forward tonight.


Videos

Photos