Leafs Injury Update - Leafs call up Kadri and Boyce
The news broke this morning that Nazem Kadri practiced with the Maple Leafs before it became official that he was called up from the Marlies. This coming shortly after the Leafs called up centre Darryl Boyce earlier this week.
Boyce, who has 10 points in 22 games for the Marlies this season, is a hard working bottom 6 player who is sure to bring some energy onto the bench each and every game. Boyce is likely slotted to take most of Philippe Dupuis' minutes after Dupuis went down with an upper body injury in the game on Monday. This means penalty kill time and 4th line minutes to spark some energy for Darryl Boyce.
Nazem Kadri, who has 22 points in 22 games for the Marlies, is likely to be placed on the Leafs third line with Tim Connolly and Clarke MacArthur with the absense of Armstrong, who is out with a concussion. The drawback on Kadri has always been his size, and although not much has changed in that department since his last time in a Maple Leafs uniform, this is a good time to re-evaluate what Kadri brings to the table. This is also a great opportunity for Nazem Kadri to prove to the Leafs organization that he belongs in the NHL. Expect Kadri to get some time on powerplay time. It's hard to imagine him taking a spot from the first unit but I can see him filling a roll on the second unit.
Coach Ron Wilson is unsure whether David Steckel will play tomorrow nights game as he is still fighting with the flu. He stated earlier today that Steckel had lost a few pounds and is working to get back up to his usual playing weight. It is likely that he will be a game time decision.
Lombardi has been steadily progressing and has been cleared for full practice with the Leafs. He is likely to make his return into the line-up at some point between the Christmas break and the new year. Lombardi brings a ton of speed and a fair amount of skill to the Leafs roster and will likely find himself somewhere in the bottom six upon returning.
Personally, I'm very excited with the line-up the Leafs are putting forward tomorrow night, especially if Steckel is well enough to return to that 4th line centre position he has claimed for most of the season. James Reimer is penned in to get the start tomorrow night against the Buffalo Sabres after his stellar 40-save performance Monday night.