A flurry of injuries

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 2:22 PM ET

Maple Leaf forwards are dropping quicker than the snow flurries that pelted southern Ontario yesterday.

Add Nik Antropov (suspension) and John Pohl (suspected high ankle sprain) to the Leafs' lengthy list of players who will not be able to suit up tonight against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre.

With his team wafer-thin up front, interim general manager Cliff Fletcher was poised to call up a player from the farm after last night's Marlies-Rochester Americans game in upstate New York. Speedy forward Robbie Earl was the favourite to be summoned and could make his NHL debut tonight.

Earl, 22, had 11 goals and 21 assists in 43 games for the Marlies entering play last night.

Should he get the call as expected, he'll join Marlie teammates Ben Ondrus and Kris Newbury, who were both promoted to the Leafs in the past week.

"I've never seen anything like this," Fletcher said. "I've only been here a week and already six forwards have gone down.

"This is a chance for some of the younger players to show what they can do."

Already out are forwards Alexei Ponikarovsky (shoulder), Alex Steen (shoulder), Boyd Devereaux (wrist), Mark Bell (broken orbital bone), Darryl Boyce (shoulder), Chad Kilger (personal) and defenceman Bryan McCabe (broken hand). Kilger could be back in the lineup tonight.

ALL'S QUIET

Fletcher admits his phone has been quiet regarding trade talk but he expects that to change in the coming days.

"By the beginning of next week I expect it to pick up," Fletcher said.

CHANCE TO GIVE BACK

For Tuesday's home date against Florida, fans are encouraged to participate in bringing non-perishable food items or a cash donation. In exchange they will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with former captain Wendel Clark. It's all part of the Purolator Shuts Out Hunger Food Drive. Proceeds will help support Toronto's Daily Bread food bank.


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