Connolly could play Saturday

The Maple Leafs were without Tim Connolly when they opened their season Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre, but there is a slight chance the centre could play at home on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.

“I’m not anticipating him playing Saturday, if he does it’s a bonus,” coach Ron Wilson said Thursday morning. “But if he comes to me and says he wants to play Saturday, if he thinks he’s ready, then he’ll probably play.”

Connolly was placed on the injured reserve list Wednesday, but has practised with the team for three straight days and appears to be recovering from the upper-body injury he suffered in camp last week.

“He’s practised very well the last couple of days. If this was a first-round playoff game, I’m pretty sure he’d be in the line-up,” Wilson added.

The Leafs signed the oft-injured Connolly to a two-year deal worth $9.5 million in the summer. He is expected to centre the Leafs’ top unit, between wingers Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.

71 Responses to Connolly could play Saturday

  1. LeafsFTW17 says:

    After the 2nd I was thinking another shutout…guess not.

  2. leafy says:

    That could happen even to very good teams in October. I wouldn't be too worried about it. But obviously the Leafs need to work on defensive positioning in practice with 7 days off.

  3. leafmeister says:

    Great game, but getting 5 goals against in the 3rd period is not conducive to winning.

  4. leafy says:

    Phew, almost blew that one.

    Reimer went from looking like Patrick Roy in the first 5 periods to Andrew Raycroft in the 6th period to start the season.

    How valuable did Steckel look in tonight's game? He's suddenly become an important acquisition by Burke.

    Kessel looked like Mike Bossy tonight. Great shot. And he was really flying.

  5. LeafsNation4Ever says:

    At the end of the day, no matter who wins or loses after watching games like these, a fan will leave satisfied no matter who's side you're on. I do think that five goals was too much, but hey, I was falling asleep before the 3rd period started. 

  6. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    There's not enough "*****in' booze in the office" to make Burke make that deal lol

  7. LeafsFTW17 says:

    Garth Snow could supply.

  8. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    very happy about it too… looking on the brighter side of the 5 goals.. none of them were weak which is key, reimer doesnt show signs of falling apart, it was just those goals he couldnt do much about.. kessel had a great game, komi looked good and im not a fan of his and i like frattin with grabos line.. gonna be some interesting descisions with mac and connolly and kadri coming back

  9. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    take lupul, colborne, percy, and a second out and i think thats close?

  10. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    maybe not anaheim… what a first line ryan – getzlaf – perry is.. all big strong kids that can cycle, score and power there way through the defence to put up points.. they can thank burke for that first line

  11. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I don't think defensive positioning was the issue as they were not scored againts for five periods.

    The major issue tonight was only playing 2 and a half periods instead of 3. Allowing 4 goals in the final 10 is evident of that.

  12. leafy says:

    I think Ottawa's comeback was the best that could have happened. If the game ended 5-1, it would have gone to their head and they would have been over-confident. They would have taken the next 7 days easier. Now, with the 3rd period scare, they'll work harder in practice.

    I remember at the start of the 2002-2003 season, the Leafs blew away Pittsburgh 6-0 right in Pittsburgh. Worst thing that could have happened. It went to their heads and then they went on a 1-2 pace for an entire month.

  13. blaze says:

    ha cmon Bruins fan you know Kessel already was a first liner on the Bs ya dope

  14. alpalstewart says:

    yea i'm sure there must be a pick involved in that trade aswell. but gagner does hold alot of value still, he's 22 years old going into his 5th season, he could turn the page anytime now. at 22 years old he already has 173 career pts, thats a nice headstart compared to guys that are making the nhl at his age now. i'm sure you leaf fans would rather have gags than conolly.

  15. alpalstewart says:

    interesting fact.  Connolly and Gagner had the excact same point totals in the same amount of games last year. with gagner actually scoring 2 more goals.

    Connolly is 31 yrs old gags is 22. i think if the leafs get him  he shoyld play with kessel. at 22 and 23 years old they could become a rendition of the sedins possibly. kess would be daniel(THE GOAL SCORER)Gags would be henrik, lol
    please take the post with a grain of salt its meant to be mostly funny, but there are alot of what ifs. gags and kessel could be linemates for 10-15 years if a deal were to get done between your buds and my oinks. lol
  16. leafmeister says:

    The roster on Saturday is gonna be interesting:

    MacArthur – Grabovski – Kulemin
    Lupul – Connolly – Kessel
    Frattin – Lombardi – Armstrong
    Bozak – Steckel – Brown

    IMO, its time for Franson to get a shot, as not-awful as Komisarek has been.

    Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
    Schenn – Liles
    Franson – Gardiner

    In the past two games, Grabovski has probably been all-around the most dangerous forward. Im surprised he only has one goal. Kessel has also been quite good, especially last night. Two of those goals were vintage Phil Kessel.

    The best defensemen has been, by a mile, Dion Phaneuf. He is hitting, playing well defensively, chipping in offensively and is playing a lot of minutes. I hope he keeps this up. A return to form would be unspeakably huge for this organization.

    Also, is it just me, or does Liles look WAY better as a PP QB than Kaberle ever did? He just seems way more mobile and unpredictable. Kaberle could make the odd sexy pass but other than that, he was the QB of some pretty awful power plays in recent seasons.

  17. MystifoLeafs says:

    Anyone watch the Calgary Pittsburgh game? I ended up watching it and was impressed with a few people.

    – Sarich and how he handled Cooke, That made me smile.
    – Whoever thought Malkin was soft should not think otherwise. He was ready to duke it out last night.
    – Iginla is still looking like his usual dominate self. 
  18. TheLeafNation91 says:

    If theirs one positive thing about the Leafs thus far is the depth of the roster.

    They are 2-0…With the absence of three key players: Clarke MacArthur, Nazem Kadri, and Tim Connolly.

    Depth is key in this league…And the Leafs have tons of it.

  19. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I like Frattin over Kadri right now on the third-line. He's a two-way third-liner and thats what Toronto needs. He's also a more mature player and built like a truck.

    Kadri should go back to the AHL and work with Coborne a bit more.

    They are nearly there, they just need one more year developing their craft.

  20. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I think Kessels one of the premier scorers in the game today. He's up there with Ovechkin and Bobby Ryan. This is why Burke traded for him.

    I said the Steckel trade was great for one reason…Faceoffs.

  21. senators_choke says:

    They need an alternative to Connolly. Gagner would be worth a shot. A decent forward and young defenceman and a pick.

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