January 24, 2013
Leafs replace Lupul with Frattin
By DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency
TORONTO - He was supposed to be a key cog in the lineup, instead he’ll be watching from the wings with a fractured wing as forward Matt Frattin gets another shot at stating his case with the Maple Leafs.
Frattin was called up from the Marlies of the AHL early Thursday after Lupul, who just signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract extension, went down in the Leafs’ 5-2 victory over the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
Frattin was out on the Air Canada Centre ice on Thursday morning with about 10 other Leafs, including both goalies, James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, for an optional skate as the team prepared for its home tilt against the New York Islanders.
Frattin said he didn’t know exactly where he would be inserted into the lineup as coach Randy Carlyle will have to do some shuffling to accommodate the 25-year-old winger.
“Injuries are part of the game and obviously you don’t want to see anybody on the team getting injured, but that’s the kind of depth we have in this organization where people can step in and out and it’s not going to hurt the team,” said Frattin, who found himself returned to the Marlies after this year’s abbreviated Leafs training camp wrapped up.
“Any opportunity you have, you just want to take the full advantage of it and just try and stick around. Any practices or games you know you have to go 110% because you never know, there are always guys coming in trying to take your spot.
“Just bringing energy, playing the body, finishing checks and getting in on the forecheck and keep my legs moving,” are some of the things Frattin said he needs to do to stick with the club.
Frattin said he learned of the Lupul injury via Twitter.
“You can find everything on there now,” the Edmonton native said.
Lupul fractured his right forearm after being hit by a Dion Phaneuf shot from the point on Wednesday, just four days after signing the lucrative extension. Carlyle said as of yet there is no official timeline for Lupul’s return.
“Usually in these situations, the assessment has to be whether it’s a displaced fracture or a non-displaced fracture. I think you’re looking at I’d say six weeks,” Carlyle said.
All signs point to Scrivens being back in net against the Islanders even though Reimer put in a strong 28-save performance against the Penguins in his first start of the season. Scrivens, who is 1-1, was the first goalie off the ACC ice and was surrounded by a group of reporters while Reimer stayed out to get some extra work.
“It’s always going to be a team effort, I thought we had a good team effort last night,” Scrivens said. “I though Reimer played fantastic, he made a huge save on (Evgeni) Malkin in the second. I thought he made a couple of great goal-line stands too. So that’s what we need from whoever is in there; good goaltending that gives us a chance to win. Reimer definitely did that last night.”