Kris shaken, not stirred

The mere sight of Kris Newbury walking around the Leafs dressing room yesterday was remarkable,...

The mere sight of Kris Newbury walking around the Leafs dressing room yesterday was remarkable, considering he had been carted off the Air Canada Centre ice surface in front of a hushed capacity crowd just 36 hours earlier. (Sun Media/Michael Peake)

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

There are staples in the back of his head and stitches above the left corner of his mouth.

If that doesn't provide Kris Newbury with the motivation to avoid dropping the gloves any more, then what will?

Yet the feisty Maple Leafs winger insists he is not deterred from exchanging fisticuffs in the future, even after he was decked by the Pittsburgh Penguins' Ronald Petrovicky on Saturday.

"Especially for my game, it's part of what I do and what I get paid for," Newbury said matter-of-factly. "I think (fighting) belongs in the game. Sometimes accidents happen."

The mere sight of Newbury walking around the Maple Leafs dressing room yesterday was remarkable, considering he had been strapped to a spinal board and carted off the Air Canada Centre ice surface in front of a hushed capacity crowd just 36 hours earlier.

Having lost his helmet earlier in the scrap, Newbury was knocked off his feet by Petrovicky's blow. The back of his head smashed off the ice, causing blood to begin spewing.

The incident was so unnerving, a concerned Petrovicky phoned Newbury on Sunday to find out how the injured Leaf was doing.

"I appreciate that and I told him that," Newbury said of the 10-minute conversation. "It was a freak accident that happens every once in a while in the game.

"I told him it wasn't his fault. He felt bad about what happened."

The incident looked far worse than it turned out to be. Newbury, who was rushed to hospital to undergo tests, was actually back riding a stationary bike yesterday.

"I think they'll keep me off for a couple of days just for precautionary reasons and then hopefully be back on the ice in about a week," he said. "No concussion-like symptoms. I feel pretty good.

"The back of my head is a little sore from the staples being there but other than that I'm pretty good."

Asked if he had watched Petrovicky's knock-out punch on video, Newbury chuckled.

"Yeah, I've seen it a couple of times," he said. "It doesn't look good. But injuries are part of the game and every now and then you get a scary one."

Scary enough to cause well-wishers to leave him countless messages the past couple of days.

WELL WISHES

"The phone hasn't stopped ringing," he said. "It's a good thing that people care and want to know how I'm doing. I appreciate that."

For the most part, Newbury's teammates seemed relieved that the energetic winger, who has four points in 15 games, will be okay. It is just one less distraction for a Leafs team that leads the New York Islanders by just a single point in the Eastern Conference standings heading into their matchup at the Air Canada Centre tonight.

"It's a big game, there is no doubt about it," winger Chad Kilger said.


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