October 3, 2011
Connolly iffy for opener
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Tim Connolly skated by himself before Maple Leafs practice on Monday.
If the same scenario plays out in the next couple of days, it’s hard to see him in uniform for the regular-season opener on Thursday.
“Connolly is like a 50-50 right now,” coach Ron Wilson said.
Connolly played in just two pre-season games and did not record a point. After he crashed into the boards during practice last week, an upper-body injury has kept him from practising with his teammates.
The Leafs hoped Connolly, who was signed to a two-year, $9.5-million US contract in July, would have fit in seamlessly on a line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. But with Connolly playing in just a pair of games, there was no time to gel.
“That’s why you are going to be patient with that line,” Wilson said. “If that is a line on Thursday night, and they don’t have a great game, it does not mean we are going to change it. We have to allow them to grow together.