Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson revealed on Saturday morning that defenceman Mike Komisarek will miss eight weeks with a broken arm.
Komisarek, who had been playing some of his best hockey as a Leaf, suffered the injury after blocking a shot in the third period of a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
As recently as Friday it had been reported that Komisarek would be out around three weeks with what was being described as an upper body injury.
“Actually, it’s going to be for eight weeks. He broke his arm, he needs surgery,” Wilson said after Toronto’s morning skate ahead of its game against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (10-6-1) at the Air Canada Centre.
“Go ahead, start tweeting,” Wilson joked after letting the cat out of the bag.
The Komisarek announcement is just the latest blow to an already depleted Leafs lineup.
Also injured are forwards Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur and Matthew Lombardi, who like Komisarek was injured in the game against the Predators, and No. 1 netminder James Reimer.
Wilson added that Mike Brown, another forward with an “upper body injury,” is doubtful for the game against the Capitals.
To help cope with their injury woes the Leafs called up forward Joe Colborne from the Toronto Marlies.
The 6-foot-5, 213-pound Colborne is leading the Marlies with 10 goals and nine assists in 13 games this season. He had been the AHL scoring leader before missing several games with an injury and was also named player of the month for October. He played one game for the Leafs last season and recorded an assist.
Wilson said Colborne would likely play alongside Marlies linemate Joey Crabb with David Steckel on the wing.
“We were missing so much skill (with all the injuries), we needed a skill person to put in,” Wilson said of Colborne.
Colborne only returned to the Marlies lineup on Friday night, a 2-1 road victory over the Rochester Americans, but said he is looking forward to getting into a Saturday night game at the ACC.
“I feel great, there’s no pain or anything so I’m 100% ready to go,” Colborne told reporters. “(I got the call) late last night after the bus ride back home.”
Wilson said he will likely keep Tyler Bozak as first-line centre between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul while Tim Connolly will once again anchor the second line.
Wilson also said the Leafs (10-7-2) plan to call up a defenceman from the Marlies to help out during a four-game road trip that starts Sunday in Carolina, and would do so after the game against Washington.
All three Leafs goalies were on the ice once again, but it’s Jonas Gustavsson who will get the start over Ben Scrivens against the Capitals. Scrivens was in net for the loss against the Predators.
“We have a lot of games, we have to play tomorrow too. Scrivens is going to play in one of them so we’ve decided tonight on Jonas,” Wilson said. “Jonas has beaten Washington in the past, he’s 1-1-1 against them, so he’s familiar with them and Scrivens isn’t, so it’s a fairly easy decision to make.”
Expect to see Colton Orr on the ice tonight.