February 27, 2013
Colton Orr, Mike Brown to play against Canadiens
Leafs' tough guys ready for action
By DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency

Maple Leafs tough guy Colton Orr. (VERONIC HENRI/QMI Agency/Files)

TORONTO - The Maple Leafs will have some added punch in their lineup when they play host to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Coach Randy Carlyle said after his team’s morning skate at the Air Canada Centre that tough guys Colton Orr and Mike Brown will be available for tonight’s game.

It’s was no secret that Orr, who missed three games after sustaining a lower-body injury, would be suiting up against the Canadiens (12-4-3), but Brown, after hurting himself in a fight in Philadelphia on Monday night against Tye McGinn and then leaving practice on Tuesday, was not expected to return so soon.

“I feel good,” Brown said after the skate. “I took the day off yesterday, but feel good right now, so I’m just waiting for the word (from Carlyle).

“I just got a little twisted up,” Brown said of the injury, “and got a little soreness in the lower body, but it feels good now.

“It’s a shortened season, if you’re out for a week or two it’s quite a few games now. You know, for myself, I want to play every game. It’s not fun missing games and watching games (from the press box).”


Orr and Brown will be welcomed additions to the lineup in case things get heated against division rival Montreal.

The last time these two teams met, a 6-0 win by Toronto on Feb. 9, Habs forward Max Pacioretty alleged that Leafs centre Mikhail Grabovski bit his hand during a scrum, though Grabovski was never assessed any discipline by the NHL. The Canadiens showed their frustration in the loss by racking up 65 minutes in penalties, while Toronto had a season-high 51.

The Canadiens will be out to avenge the loss – and the alleged biting incident could be on their minds as well – as they look to add to their eight-game point streak and deny the Maple Leafs a fourth consecutive win at the ACC.

Brown said the Leafs (12-8-0) just have to worry about their own game and not focus on what the Canadiens are doing.

“We have that depth in our room for toughness and we also have that skill and speed. We just have to use that,” he said. “We can’t pay attention too much what they’re doing, but focus more on what we’re doing and go out with a bang.”

The media was out in full force in anticipation of the rematch. In fact, there hasn’t been that much media gathered in one place since Manti Te’o was recently bombarded with questions about his non-existent girlfriend at the NFL combine.

It seemed like everybody wanted to be a part of goings-on, even players. Goalie James Reimer, recovering from injury was on the ice, as was forward Matt Frattin, who recently had some minor knee work. While Frattin won’t be playing, he did look like he’s not far off now.

Carlyle wouldn’t say if Reimer will be backing up Ben Scrivens who will be making his eighth consecutive start. David Steckel probably will be the odd man out.

The Canadiens will likely have former Hab Michael Ryder in their lineup and wearing his old No. 73 after rookie Brendan Gallagher said he would give the number up. Ryder, who was acquired from the Dallas Stars along with a third-round draft pick on Tuesday in a trade for Eric Cole, didn’t participate in the team skate but will play if he passes a physical.

“It’s been a hectic day for me, lots of travelling and not much sleep,” Ryder said. “So the main priority today is to get the medical done and stuff like that and get some rest and be ready to go tonight.”

The Leafs still remember Ryder from when he scored a natural hat trick against them in the second period on April 7, 2007.

“That was a long time ago,” he said. “I hope I can get one, but I don’t expect it. I just want to help the team and hopefully get results.”


CANOE.CA SLAM!