By: David Alter
Head Coach Ron Wilson said he wouldn’t comment on any injuries as some are game-time decisions. However, shortly after practice concluded the team’s official website listed Tim Connolly on the Injured Reserve, meaning he will not take part in the team’s season opener.
The Maple Leafs are now down to the mandatory 23 players required for opening night, with both Connolly and Nazem Kadri on the IR.
Connolly again practiced with Clarke MacArthur (suspended) and Colton Orr (extra forward for the last several days), it is officially an upper-body injury although suspected of actually being a shoulder injury.
Newly acquired forward David Steckel will be in the lineup when the Maple Leafs open up their season at home against the Montreal Canadiens.
Steckel, picked up from New Jersey in a trade which sent a 4th-round draft choice back to the Devils, was practicing on the wing alongside Philippe Dupuis and Colby Armstrong. It’s likely he’ll stay on the wing while taking a lot of face-offs, being he is the reigning league champion in winning the draw.
Steckel’s arrival meant the departure of Joey Crabb who was sent down to the Marlies.
New look for Mike Brown
He was virtually unrecognizable upon arrival, but after taking a deflected puck to the face on Tuesday’s practice, Mike Brown has decided to part ways with his mustache.
Brown said with the groin injury he’s had to deal with combined with that shot to the lip, enough was enough. Looking for a change of fortune it mostly comes down to superstition, as well as how his lip will heal without a mustache in the way.
Lines at Practice
Matt Frattin-Mikhail Grabovski-Nik Kulemin
Joffrey Lupul-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel
David Steckel-Philippe Dupuis-Colby Armstrong
Jay Rosehill-Matt Lombardi-Mike Brown
Clarke MacArthur-Tim Connolly-Colton Orr
Dion Phaneuf-Carl Gunnarson
John-Michael Liles-Luke Schenn
Jake Gardiner-Mike Komisrek