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Leafs are excited that Bozak (oblique) may return Sunday

Dec 26, 2013, 3:11 PM EDT

tylerbozakgetty Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle is excited about the possibility of Tyler Bozak returning from an oblique injury on Sunday, pointing to how the return of a player can allow other skaters to assume more appropriate roles.

“Bozak is our best faceoff guy,” Loiselle told the Toronto Sun on Wednesday. “And when you don’t win draws either on the power play or on the penalty kill, you end up spending a lot of time chasing the puck instead of controlling it.

“When he comes back, it simply allows other guys to drop down and play in positions they might be more comfortable with. He will be a welcome addition when he returns.”

Bozak, 27, has been sidelined since Dec. 3. The Maple Leafs center had played well in a stretch of five games returning from a separate injury, scoring one goal and four assists in five games from Nov. 25 – Dec. 3. It’s been that kind of season for the two-way center, yet the Leafs would be glad to have him back.

The Maple Leafs face the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. That will be Toronto’s second game back in action, as they’re facing the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

  1. stepanup - Dec 26, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Bozak also seems to be the key to a most-effective Kessel, so it would seem that Toronto improves in all areas by his return.

    • borderline1988 - Dec 26, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      It is exciting…although when you step back for a second, you realize how ludricrous this is. Tyler Bozak is by far the Leafs best center, and yet he’s really a 3rd line center on most playoff teams (which is what he was before he came to the Leafs). Yikes..

      The Leafs haven’t paired a quality wingman with a quality centerman in 20 years. If only the Sundin era coincided with the Kessel era, we’d actually have one of the best first lines in the NHL

      • dirtyback - Dec 26, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        and yet they hold a playoff spot at the moment…

      • beergold - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        dirtyback I think the tail end of your comment is most appropriate “at the moment”.

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