Injured players won't be rushed back

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

All's quiet on the medical front in Leafland.

A string of injuries has rocked the club in recent days, and while some players, such as forwards Jason Blake and Matt Stajan, who hurt themselves blocking shots in Buffalo on Saturday, pronounced themselves ready for action, a couple of other veterans -- defenceman Jeff Finger and forward Dominic Moore -- have been laid up longer than first expected, although the club is being somewhat tight-lipped about their status.

One thing is for sure, none of those four will be in St. Louis tonight for the pre-season game against the Blues.

Finger has an injured foot, the result of blocking a shot, and has played in only one of the team's five pre-season games.

Moore, who has three goals in two pre-season games, has a sore groin. It's unknown when he'll be able to return from that injury.

Rookie winger Nikolai Kulemin "banged up" his knee against the Blues on Monday and did not practice yesterday, while veteran defenceman Pavel Kubina left midway through practice with an apparent sore knee.

Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said he has no idea whether any of the injuries, particularly to Moore and Finger, will carry into the regular season, which begins for the Leafs Oct. 9 in Detroit.

"I don't know, and I wouldn't comment on that anyway," Wilson snapped.

WELCOME TO TORONTO

The "joys" of dealing with the hockey media in Toronto finally seems to be getting to Wilson, if just a little bit.

On at least three occasions during a post-practice media scrum yesterday, the often-engaging, sometimes-crusty, Wilson snapped at the dreaded press hordes, such as when one glamorous TV guy asked the coach if he had expected rookie defenceman Luke Schenn to be vying for one of the spots on the Leafs roster this season.

"Yeah, I did," Wilson said, before becoming silent for a few seconds. "What do you want me to say? Yes I did.

"We talked about that ... if you listened, you would have heard me say that (before)," he continued.

In his defence, Wilson has been asked the "Luke Schenn" question 80 to 90 times since camp began last week.

Wilson then was asked if he thought young goaltender Justin Pogge allowed the coach to score during a shootout session at practice.

"I suppose it will be on TSN all day, because there's nothing else to play up here but that kind of crap," Wilson said of his practice goal on Pogge.

"That was my B move, by the way," Wilson said, injecting a bit of levity to the situation.


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