Tiny streams of blood rippled across the Lakeshore Lions Arena ice surface yesterday after a puck off the stick of John Pohl smacked defenceman Hal Gill right in the kisser.
At least Gill got off luckier than his roommate, Ian White.
While the 6-foot-7 Gill is expected to be in the lineup when the Leafs visit the Buffalo Sabres tonight at the HSBC Arena, the 5-foot-10 White will not be playing any time soon.
The Maple Leafs last night announced that White will be out a minimum three weeks after sustaining a mild separation of the left shoulder in the second period of Toronto's 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
"It's unfortunate, but what can you do?" said White earlier in the day as he prepared to undergo an MRI.
With his left arm in a sling, White understandably looked frustrated as he left the arena.
COULD BE WORSE
It could have been worse. Any kind of rotator cuff damage likely would have ended his season.
"Ian earned his spot on our club with an outstanding training camp and has continued with solid two-way play," general manager John Ferguson said. "It will be up to Brendan Bell to make the most of this opportunity."
Bell is ready to face the high-flying Sabres.
"I played them before this year, so I understand how much speed they have," he said. "I welcome the challenge."
Gill, meanwhile, was sporting a huge gash under his nose after practice.
"(Pohl) owes me dinner," he said as he waited to get stitched up. "And nothing with salt, either."
Coach Paul Maurice was relieved Gill's injury was not more serious.
"I don't mind if it's his teeth but not his jaw," Maurice said with a chuckle. "But he got up and cursed, which was a good sign."