March 18, 2011
Bad luck year for Armstrong
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Colby Armstrong seemed wary to walk to his car, lest he smack his head on the roof or slam the door on his fingers.
It has been that kind of year for the winger, who spoke to the media for the first time on Friday since breaking his foot Monday while blocking a shot against Tampa Bay.
That capped an unfortunate string of injuries for the first-year Leaf; two broken feet, a surgically repaired broken hand and a busted finger on the other.
“And a bleeding eye,” Armstrong quipped of getting sucker punched by Atlanta’s Ben Eager in January. “I hope this is it.
“It’s pretty crazy. I don’t know what to say about it. Maybe I’ll change my number (9) next year or maybe move somewhere else in the dressing room, we’ll see.”
Armstrong’s left foot was supported by crutches, as doctors wait for the swelling to go down before putting on a cast. Ever the optimist, Armstrong said he will play if the Leafs make the playoffs and are still alive in late April. With the trading of Tomas Kaberle, he had become an alternate captain.
The year began with a broken right foot in London in an exhibition game. One hand injury was the result of twisting it awkwardly making a pass, which badly damaged tendons.
“Just every little thing became a big thing, with some weird accidents,” he said. “But when I was in, I thought I played well and played hard (the Leafs had a winning record during his 50 games).
“When it happened (Monday) I thought it was just a stinger. I waited for it to calm down and it didn’t. I played five or six shifts after that and every time I came off, I knew something was wrong.
“It was a tough break and bad timing. We were in the middle of a good push, the closest we’ve been in the second half to being back in it. I’m frustrated, but what can you do?”