For the 5,340,695th time in his NHL career, Carlo Colaiacovo is prepared to play.
The oft-injured Maple Leafs defenceman, who has played in only five games this year because of knee woes and has missed major parts of recent seasons, said yesterday after practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena that he is ready to play tonight against the St. Louis Blues. But Leafs coach Paul Maurice played down Colaiacovo's enthusiasm, saying the 25-year-old's status would be determined today.
Defenceman Bryan McCabe, recovering from broken bones in his hand, skated on his own yesterday morning, but Maurice said there is no timetable for McCabe's return.
"He will join the team when he feels comfortable with his stick," Maurice said. "The healing is where it is supposed to be."
McCabe has been out since getting hurt Dec. 15 in Montreal. Colaiacovo, since Jan. 5.
Forward Boyd Devereaux left practice yesterday early, but Maurice did not disclose the reason and Devereaux, is expected to play tonight.
ST. LOUIS HAS THE BLUES
The Blues go into tonight on a seven-game winless streak that includes two shootout losses to the Vancouver Canucks. Only Brad Boyes, who has 29 goals, has been scoring: The Blues' 123 goals is fewest in the NHL. Keith Tkachuk's 13 goals are second on the team after Boyes, and Paul Kariya, who has 12 goals, has just two in the past 66 periods.
Overall, the Blues started 16-9-1 but are 6-10-6 in their past 22.
"I don't know what it is," Tkachuk said. "What we're doing now isn't good enough.
"When you've got a guy with 29 goals and there's a big gap between the next guy, we have to pick up the scoring and not rely on Brad Boyes all the time."
The Leafs are hoping history repeats itself. Last season, they won their first five games after the all-star break and were in the playoff hunt until the season's final day ... The Leafs are 6-11-0 in games against the Western Conference since the start of 2006-07. In the same span, among Eastern Conference clubs, only Atlanta has fewer points (11) against the West than the Leafs do.