September 28, 2010
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
FREDDY ALMOST READY
Projected third-line left winger Fredrik Sjostrom is the only question mark as far as injuries go.
Unable to play while he completes recovery from shoulder surgery, he will suit up for one of the Detroit games this weekend, likely with Colby Armsrong on the right side.
The question is whether John Mitchell or Tim Brent is the centre or whether the Leafs relent and carry Nazem Kadri as a third-line centre, which could come at the expense of ice time and a chance to develop his defensive game, one of the weak spots with the 2009 first rounder.
"(Sjostrom) kind of has the green light for tonight. but I still think he needs a couple of practices," coach Ron Wilson said.
The three Leafs extras who will stay with the team after next week's starting lineup of 20 for the season opener against Montreal are announced are likely to include Luca Caputi and Brent up front, and currently injured defencemen Brett Lebda, Matt Lashoff and Jeff Finger.
HELP ME RHONDA
Brent has endured some nervous waits during NHL cuts, usually to find that he is going back to the farm. But this past weekend, he tried something different.
"It was my mother (Rhonda's) birthday on Saturday night (in Cambridge) and I ended up going home and spending it there," Brent said.
"Maybe try to get away from thinking about (the cuts) because I knew Sunday would be a stressful time."
Brent survives until at least this weekend, when the Leafs will get down from 30 to 23 bodies.
CUJO ON THE STREET
Retired Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph will be lending his skills to Road Hockey To Conquer Cancer, a dusk-to-dawn ball hockey game at Dundas Square on Tuesday.
Cujo will be joined by Paul Henderson (celebrating the 38th anniversary of his famous Game 8 goal against the Russians), plus Scotty
Bowman, Pierre McGuire, Jennifer Botterill, Ray
Scapinello and cast members of Score! The Hockey Musical.
PLAYERS ARE FANS, TOO
Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil and catcher J.P. Arencibia visited the Leafs dressing room in monogrammed Toronto hockey sweaters on Monday morning, with Cecil's infant son Brighton charming the photographers as he played on the carpet with his Carlton the Bear doll. Cecil tried on Luke Schenn's skates for size.
One day this summer, Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek took pre-game batting practice with the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.