Kaberle might face N.J.

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Will Tomas Kaberle return to the Maple Leafs lineup against the same team that knocked him out of it?

While nothing is etched in stone concerning Kaberle's potential comeback, coach Paul Maurice said last night the team is not ruling out seeing Kaberle face Cam Janssen and the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

A more likely scenario, according to Maurice, would be during one of the Leafs' back-to-back games against the division-rival Sabres, either Friday at Buffalo's HSBC Arena or Saturday in Toronto.

First, Kaberle would have to pass a number of medical tests before receiving the green light to take part in game action, as is the norm for any NHL player who has missed time because of a concussion.

But Maurice said Kaberle has been pushed harder and harder every time he has stepped onto the ice and seems to be handling the increased workload with poise.

"(Kaberle) has gotten better and better every day," Maurice said prior to the playoff-like Leafs-Montreal Canadiens tilt at the Bell Centre last night.

"We would be very optimistically hopeful for New Jersey. Realistically we're shooting for some time next weekend."

Kaberle has been out of action since being drilled by the Devils' Janssen on March 2. Kaberle, who needed to be carted off the ice on a stretcher, suffered a concussion, back spasms and neck pains courtesy of the Janssen blow.

Janssen, who received a three-game suspension for his actions, said he still has not had the chance to talk to Kaberle since the incident.

In any event, he is not concerned that the Leafs might seek retribution against him Tuesday.

"If anything happens, I'll be ready for it. I'm still going to play my game. Watch me," Janssen vowed while talking to New Jersey reporters yesterday.


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