Steen should be back

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Alex Steen should be back in the Maple Leafs lineup tonight against the Boston Bruins.

As for the status of the oft-injured Carlo Colaiacovo, well, a return date remains up in the air.

The flu-ridden Steen was given practice off yesterday to regain his strength, something coach Paul Maurice said is very important.

"We want him to sleep in and just build up his stamina," Maurice said yesterday. "We just told him to meet us at the airport (for our trip to Boston). He's much better.

"We don't want this thing spreading. We thought it best to keep him away (from practice.)

"The (Carolina) Hurricanes have really been hit hard by this (flu) and we don't want to take any chances with that."

Having suffered a contusion on his surgically-repaired right knee during a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers back on Jan. 5, Colaiacovo, leaning on a pair of crutches one day later, claimed that he likely would only miss a week.

But he has yet to step back on the ice, leaving him once again in limbo.

"Carlo's still in pain," Maurice said. "He can't flex the knee yet and, until that happens, he won't go on the ice."

LOOSE LEAFS

There is a push among several media members to promote former Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean as a candidate for consideration should the Leafs look for a new general manager down the road. It is far from a consensus, let alone a majority, however ... Tonight's game at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden kicks off a span of three games in four nights, a run that includes a home date against the struggling Buffalo Sabres Saturday followed by a visit to Newark for a tilt versus the New Jersey Devils Sunday. Fans might be few and far between for that one, because the New York Giants kick off against the Green Bay Packers in the NFL championship game at 6:30 p.m., some 90 minutes after the puck is dropped between the Leafs and Devils. The early betting line suggests there might be as many people in Jersey watering holes watching the beloved Giants as there will be butts in the rink.


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