November 11, 2011
Leafs psyched for Senators
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - The Maple Leafs hope to ride Doug Gilmour’s coat-tails one more time.
With Gilmour headlining three Leafs and former Marlie junior Mark Howe at Saturday’s Hockey Hall Of Fame Game, Toronto should be higher than the CN Tower to face the Ottawa Senators.
Any Battle of Ontario game is special, but with former captain Gilmour, the club’s franchise playoff scoring leader, being honoured pre-game with Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour, the usually staid Air Canada Centre should be very loud.
And with the Leafs getting hammered twice at home in the past week by a combined 12-1 score, with their goaltenders mocked by the crowd, the players could use a little home-side boost.
“I always think our players should participate (in the ceremony), not sit in the room rocking back and forth,” Wilson said Friday at the MasterCard Centre. “At least watching this and knowing the history of the game, not just the Leafs, but all the other Hall of Famers ... it’s cool for me. A guy such as Marcel Pronovost who grew up with my Dad (Larry) and uncle (Johnny), we always have a nice greeting on the bench.”
Wilson is expected to start Ben Scrivens in net after a 37-save effort in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win in St. Louis. That was a badly needed shot in the arm for both Scrivens and the Leafs. Toronto will also have the advantage of facing an Ottawa team that will have played and travelled on Friday night, as will be the case in all six Toronto-Ottawa games this season.
Defenceman Mike Komisarek had x-rays taken of his hand on Friday after getting slashed on Thursday, while winger Joffrey Lupul was also seen in pain in the game when chopped in an unprotected part of his glove. Komisarek was absent from practice on Friday, Lupul lasted 25 minutes, but Wilson said both players should be able to play.
Cody Franson would slide in for Komisarek and wingers Jay Rosehill or Colton Orr are available if Lupul is a scratch. One of Rosehill or Orr might be under consideration to play anyway as a hedge against any rough stuff, though the first two games in the series were relatively tame.