Playing through pain

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

Boyd Devereaux had little choice but to suck it up.

With the Maple Leafs missing eight players -- including six regulars -- from the lineup last night, Devereaux was on the ice despite playing with an ailing left wrist, which was wrapped tightly with a bandage.

"There still is some pain, but it's definitely good enough to contribute," said Devereaux, who had been sidelined for the previous two games.

Devereaux hopes his return will mean the end of his bag-skating sessions with assistant coach Keith Acton, who had put the veteran forward through the gruelling process for four consecutive days prior to yesterday.

"(The injury) is similar to what I had last year in the other wrist," he said. "There was shooting pain through it."

Devereaux can not believe the rash of injuries the Leafs have suffered recently.

"It's been crazy," he said. "How bad has our luck been? I was watching on TV the other night when John Pohl (high ankle sprain) went down and I could only shake my head."

SOLDIERING ON

As part of Canadian Forces Appreciation Weekend, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. is paying tribute to the thousands of men and women who serve this country.

The Leafs, Marlies and Raptors were all slated to honour the Canadian military during home games this weekend. Most of the Canadian Forces personnel in attendance at the events recently have returned from Afghanistan.

"We're excited to host and recognize the courageous men and women who serve in the Canadian military," said Tom Anselmi, MLSE's chief operating officer. "Honouring Canadian troops ... is our way of showing our gratitude to the thousands of men and women who put their lives on the line for their country."

Last March, Anselmi and a group of former Leafs and NHL players travelled to Afghanistan on a seven-day goodwill mission to visit with troops and play ball hockey in the desert. Accompanying the group on the mission was the Stanley Cup.

Chief of the Defence, General Rick Hillier, was among those taking part in the ceremonial puck drop last night.


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