Schenn return looms

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

There likely won't be any lineup changes for tonight's game at the Air Canada Centre against the Ottawa Senators, although rookie defenceman Luke Schenn (strained knee) is expected back for Tuesday's game at home against the Florida Panthers.

Schenn skated yesterday at practice for the first time in almost two weeks and took part in every drill, though he will have to wear a brace when he returns to game situations.

"Some people say (wearing a brace) is tough and some guys say it takes a while (to get used to). But for me I didn't really notice it too bad," Schenn said.

The news wasn't so good concerning another defenceman, veteran Mike Van Ryn, who suffered his second concussion this season on Dec. 18 in Boston. Head coach Ron Wilson said Van Ryn did not feel particularly good yesterday, after having a good day on Thursday.

"It's up and down, that's what happens when you have a concussion. You have good days and bad days," Wilson said. "You just have to be patient with him. You can't rush that."

Winger Jeremy Williams (shoulder) is still a week or so away from full practices.

Sad news

Wilson was saddened with the news yesterday that Whitby Dunlops player Don Sanderson died as a result of hitting his unprotected head on the ice during a fight in a game three weeks ago. But the coach does not think that tragedy should mean that fighting should be banned from the game.

"It's a tragedy. It's unfortunate that this young man lost his life like that. (But) whether it would be a fight or any accident, we're playing a physical, hard-hitting game (and) I don't think banning fighting ... there's car accidents, they don't ban driving a car. Accidents happen."

Around the net

The Leafs will honour Canada's veterans, fallen heroes and troops with Canadian Forces Appreciation Night against the Ottawa Senators this evening at the Air Canada Centre. Chief of Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk, accompanied by his sons and daughter, will drop the first puck.


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