TORONTO - The NHL regular season must be coming fast as the Maple Leafs are starting to get vague with their injuries.
It started Wednesday morning at the MasterCard Centre when there was no sign of defenceman Luke Schenn, but Korbinian Holzer had been summoned across the hall from the Marlies to work out and fly with the team to Ottawa.
“Luke has got a bit of a back problem,” said assistant coach Tim Hunter, who pinch hit for Ron Wilson in the daily media scrum.
Hunter said he’d seen Schenn getting a back massage and promised a further update, which hadn’t been provided before the team flew to Bytown.
Then there was goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, normally a workaholic, leaving practice early on Tuesday and then not showing his face on Wednesday, despite Wilson assuring the day before he was fine.
“His day off,” insisted Hunter, but general manager Brian Burke would not comment on the goalie.
The Leafs have two defencemen out a few more days, newcomers Matt Lashoff and Brett Lebda (shoulder injuries), while Jeff Finger is close to returning from a knee problem.
Holzer, the German draft pick from the John Ferguson era, was certainly surprised to get a third NHL exhibition start after he was sent down a few days earlier.
“I was on the ice with the Marlies and they came up to me and said I should come over here,” Holzer said of crossing the hall from one ice pad at the MasterCard Centre to the other.
“I want to prove to the coaches that I can play and that any time they need me, I’m ready.”