|Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere looks up at a replay after the Nashville Predators scored their third goal during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto November 16, 2010. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)
TORONTO - Luca Caputi is back with the Toronto Marlies, while J-S Giguere and Colby Armstrong are hoping to be back with the Maple Leafs within the next two weeks.
Caputi, the gritty forward acquired in the Alexei Ponikarovsky deal with Pittsburgh in March, collected eight shots and four penalty minutes in the six games he played for the Leafs since being recalled from the Marlies on Oct. 27.
As for the Leafs injury updates, Giguere, Armstrong and captain Dion Phaneuf seem to be making progress in the rehabilitation process for their respective injuries.
All three players skated prior to the team’s practice Wednesday morning at the MasterCard Centre, an optimistic sign for the team heading into December.
Coach Ron Wilson said Armstrong, who tore a tendon in his knuckle back on Oct. 26, could be back by the weekend of Dec. 4-5.
“He still needs clearance from the doctor who performed the surgery,” Wilson said.
Armstrong was out on the ice in full gear and was able to fire off some shots. Wilson did say that Armstrong needed to get more strength in his hand.
Giguere, who suffered a groin injury against Nashville on Nov. 16, wore full equipment and did some stretching.
“He didn’t face any shots,” Wilson said, adding “he could be back next week.”
Phaneuf, meanwhile, was not wearing any equipment as he fired off a few shots during his brief skate. He was sliced open in the leg by a skate blade against Ottawa Nov. 2 and is expected back by mid-December, perhaps in time for his return to Calgary when the Leafs visit the Flames Dec. 16.
Once practice started, a couple of other Leafs suffered bumps and bruises.
The most painful blow appeared to be absorbed by Mike Brown, the son of a motorcycle dealer who was nailed right in his, ah, Harley Davidsons. He understandably was seen limping to the dressing room shortly afterwards.
Defenceman Carl Gunnarsson also was clunked a couple of times, once in the chest, the other in the foot. Unlike Brown, he was able to continue.
“I think I’m better off than (Brownie),” he said.
The Leafs face upcoming back-to-back road games against Northeast Division rivals, facing off in Buffalo Friday before heading to Ottawa for a Hockey Night in Canada showdown with the provincial rival Senators Saturday. Wilson said Jonas Gustavsson is expected to get both starts in goal.