Monday, March 29, 2004

Will Monday be a black day for the Leaf Nation?

Toronto Maple Leaf fans will be waiting for the Doctor today, and they’ll be holding their breath while he talks. Owen Nolan’s knee will be subject to an MRI and general pushing and probing. All because of a hit he tried to lay on Brian Smolinski in Saturday night’s Battle of Ontario at the Air Canada Centre. Nolan went in awkwardly while trying to finish a check behind the Senators goal, his knee buckling as he collided with Smolinski, Nolan eventually had to be helped off the ice, in a fair amount of pain.

GM John Ferguson was remaining tight lipped Sunday, not venturing an opinion one way or the other on the status of Nolan. Only saying that he would be looked at again on Monday and any decision required would be made at that time. If indeed Nolan’s knee requires surgery, the Leafs would probably want to have it take place as soon as possible.

It’s another setback for Nolan, who joined the Leafs in time for last years playoff run and had to play through the pain of a hip flexor through the entire playoffs. Earlier this season he suffered a near career ending eye injury and now this, Nolan and Leaf fans alike must be wondering why he can’t catch a break.

Some of the Leafs are blaming the ice surface at the Air Canada Centre for the injury to Nolan’s knee and a similar problem with Patrick Lalime. He also stumbled awkwardly on Saturday night, having to be pulled from the game and is now listed as day to day.

Alex Mogilny classifying the ice surface as “ridiculous”, stating that the conditions at the ACC are a sore point with the players. For his part GM Ferguson says he’s heard no complaints about the ice of late.

Nolan’s injury, the latest in a string of veteran Leafs that has been hurt, must be weighing heavy on the Leaf Nation today. They face the prospect of winning that Stanley Cup starting to fade away with each addition to the injury roster.

No comments: