It was a good news bad news day for the Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
First, the good news. Tim Connolly will make his return to the lineup against the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
Now the bad news. Mikhail Grabovski will be out for two weeks with a lower body injury and Clarke MacArthur will be out of the lineup against the Predators.
With one of his top centres out for an extended period of time, head coach Ron Wilson is hoping someone can flourish with the chance.
“It is an opportunity for someone else to step up and get the job done,” Wilson said.
The full extent of the upper body injury to MacArthur is not yet known.
“We’re not sure what is going on there, he will need to go see the doctor today,” Wilson added.
The Leafs will not be making a roster move as they will be at the 23-man limit once Connolly is activated and Grabovski is placed on IR.
With the Leafs in Music City Thursday, it gives defenceman Cody Franson a chance to go up against his former team. To get the offensive blueliner in the lineup, the Leafs will be dressing seven defencemen according to Wilson.
Once again Ben Scrivens will start his fourth straight game. Scrivens has won his two road starts and with five of the next six games on the road, he will likely get the bulk of the game action.
Wilson did admit after practice that he was about to pull Scrivens after allowing the two goals against Phoenix.
“Ben did a great job last night after the first five minutes,” Wilson said. “I was glad that it worked out for him as I had my hand on the button to say the least but I didn’t have to push it.”
The key for goaltenders is not only their on ice-ability but their mental fortitude after allowing a goal to move on and stop the next one.
“You need mental skills along with physical skills that you have and he showed that last night and that is why he gets another start.” Wilson said.