Kaberle return delayed

MIKE ZEISBERGER AND ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Defenceman Tomas Kaberle's return to the Maple Leafs lineup has been pushed back yet again. Kaberle, who had hoped to come back sometime this weekend, will not have that wish come to fruition.

Now the tentative target date is April 1 when the Leafs visit the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center. Kaberle was aiming to, at worst, play in one the team's weekend games -- Friday in Buffalo or at home vs. Boston.

Kaberle's healing right hand, which has been injured twice in the past two months, clearly still has some recuperating to do, however. The veteran defenceman participated in the team's morning skate yesterday at the Air Canada Centre and was one of the last players off the ice.

"Nothing's changed," said Kaberle, who practised fully on Monday.

Other than is potential return date, of course.

CAPITAL CONNECTION

Leafs coach Ron Wilson and assistant Tim Hunter were first united with the Capitals where they teamed together for five seasons from 1997 through 2002 before they moved on to the San Jose Sharks.

Under Wilson's guidance, Washington posted a 192-167-51 record and a berth in the Stanley Cup final in 1998. It's also the venue that another Leafs assistant, Rob Zettler, came into the fold.

Zettler played parts of this final three years as an NHLer for Wilson and Hunter and joined the pair with the Sharks.

EASY BEING GREEN

Caps defenceman Mike Green had scored in each of his prior four games prior to last night's meeting with the Leafs giving him 28 goals on the season. That's the most by an NHL defenceman since Al MacInnis had 28 in 1993-94. Green leads NHL defencemen in goals for the second year in a row and if he reaches 30, he will be the first blueliner to do so since Kevin Hatcher (34) accomplished the feat with the Caps in 1992-93.

LOOSE LEAFS

When Alexei Ponikarovsky (two goals, two assists) and Mikhail Grabovski (one goal, three assists) each counted four points for the Leafs in their 5-2 win at Montreal on Saturday, it marked the first time two Toronto players scored four points in a game against the Habs since January 11, 1944. Gus Bodnar and Lorne Carr were the productive Leafs in a 5-0 win at Maple Leaf Garden.

The Leafs lead the NHL in rookie games played this season (319) ... A total of 13 players have played at least one game with both the Leafs and the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies this season.\


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