Return date still unclear for Leafs’ starting goaltender Andersen

Return date still unclear for Leafs' Andersen

TORONTO — It’s remains a mystery when Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Frederik Andersen will return from an undisclosed injury.

Andersen won’t dress for Toronto’s home game Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers. His status for a Thursday night’s contest in Nashville is also still in question.

“We don’t know yet, but we’ll see,” Andersen said of playing against Nashville following a full morning skate Tuesday.

Curtis McElhinney was scheduled to start against the Panthers with Garret Sparks due to back up. The game has huge playoff implications for the Leafs, who enter action holding third in the Atlantic division, just one point up on Boston and two ahead of Tampa with a meeting against the Lightening next week.

Andersen was injured early in a loss to Buffalo on Saturday when he was bumped in the head by Sabres forward William Carrier. He played the final 17 and a half minutes of the opening period, despite feeling slightly off, before exiting after consultation with medical personnel in the first intermission of the eventual 5-2 defeat.

The Leafs haven’t divulged specific details of the injury, describing it only as an upper-body ailment. Anderson is listed as day-to-day.

The 27-year-old practised briefly Monday then participated in the team’s entire morning skate Tuesday, simulating the workout as if he would play. He felt “pretty good”, but wouldn’t rush a return either.

“I think any time you come back from an injury you just want to make sure you feel as close to where you want to be,” Andersen said. “And obviously at this time of year you don’t want to waste too much time getting there.

“You want to work hard and make sure you get there as quick as possible.”

The Leafs will have only seven games left in 12 days after facing the Panthers, who beat Toronto 7-2 earlier this month.

After facing Nashville on Thursday, the Leafs have a divisional clash Saturday with the Detroit Red Wings one final time at Joe Louis Arena. Then they have a back-to-back early next week against Buffalo and the Washington Capitals.

That means Toronto has little time left to get its No. 1 goalie back as it scraps for points to get into the playoffs.

“I don’t get any input in any of that stuff so they’re going to let me know when he’s ready,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said referring to the team’s medical staff.

Toronto will be counting on McElhinney to shine in a prominent role, one he’s rarely taken in a career that dates back to the 2007-08 season.

The 33-year-old looked shaky at times in his last start March 23, but still made 30 saves in a 4-2 win over New Jersey.

Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Caged: Kelowna Falcons suffer 6th straight loss

The Falcons look for revenge Saturday night after a 15-5 loss

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Grievance dismissed: Kelowna bus driver loses case after texting on job

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike at Rose Valley Trails

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Letter: Homeless need more than handouts

To the editor: Re: Solutions to homelessness I firmly believe that automation,… Continue reading

Letter: Drug addicts taking over downtown

To the editor: In regards to the current state of the City… Continue reading

Most Read