Bozak has foot trouble
Leaf still limping after blocking shot
LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
|Tyler Bozak may sit out the Leafs game against the Habs after taking a shot off his foot on Thursday. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency)
MONTREAL - For a while, it looked like the Maple Leafs‚ first line might need its third centre of the young season.
But if Tyler Bozak can't play Saturday night in Montreal, his bruised foot won't keep him out long. Though he was unable to stay on the ice more than a few minutes at the Bell Centre for the morning skate, he was not ruling out playing between top scorer Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul against the Canadiens. Matthew Lombardi, in his first game in his hometown in many years, would start in his place.
"I think I might be ready to go, we'll see," Bozak said as he limped out of the arena. "We're getting a lot of injuries lately so there's not much you can do."
Bozak was hurt in the closing moments of Toronto's 6-2 loss in Boston on Thursday when a Johnny Boychuk slap shot wounded him in the foot.
"He can really let it go and he got me pretty good," Bozak said.
X-rays taken on Thursday were negative and he stayed off skates with the rest of the Leafs on Friday.
Tim Connolly, who was going to centre the first line, remains on the shelf with a training camp shoulder injury. But he is with the team on this four-game road trip and took part in Saturday's skate.
The other lineup change will see defenceman Mike Komisarek come back in for Cody Franson after being a healthy scratch for the first time in three years as a Leaf. Franson was a minus-3 in Boston.
"It was a chance for (Komisarek) to re-set," coach Ron Wilson said. "Meritocracy is the word we use (play well, stay in the lineup)."
Down the hall, the Canadiens were having their own injury issues as they try to avoid going 1-5-1 to open the season, already mired in their worst start in 16 years. Scott Gomez is the latest, out a week with a shoulder injury. But the influence of the injuries on Montreal‚s mostly no-name roster has not stopped criticism of coach Jacques Martin. Rumblings in th media that he should be let go are starting.
"When you're not winning, the coaches aren't coaching and the players aren't playing," defenceman Hal Gill said of the fan unrest. "But that's the business we chose and we're going to get scrutinized for it."
Gill will be recognized for his 1,000th game, which he achieved Thursday in Pittsburgh. The Habs, the NHL and the Leafs will be giving him something, Toronto to recognize 145 games in blue and white between 2006-08.