Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/05/13 at 10:19 AM ET
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
Whether Lupul’s injury is significant or not is a matter for another day. He wasn’t available for comment after the game. And while Leafs coach Randy Carlyle reported that Lupul felt “fine,” pronouncing him “50-50” to participate in Friday’s practice, it was difficult to know what to make of the coach’s assessments. Though no one in Leafland uttered the word “concussion,” Lupul has previously suffered at least a couple significant head injuries during his NHL career. Teammate John-Michael Liles, who missed time last season with a concussion, acknowledged the obvious concern.
“It’s definitely scary, just because it’s such an unpredictable thing,” Liles said. “But you hope for the best.”
Lupul’s well-being, of course, is inextricably linked to that of his team. The Maple Leafs had been clearly enlivened in the previous six games in which he had been in the lineup since he returned from a 25-game absence with a fractured forearm. They hadn’t lost a game in regulation during the run, going 4-0-2 with Lupul on board. Though he’d also served a two-game suspension, until Thursday night Lupul had scored in every game since his return from his broken arm, racking up eight goals and five assists in those six games. The club had been singing the praises of his contagious presence.
“When you’ve got players like Lupul who play at that level, everybody jumps on board,” Claude Loiselle, the Leafs assistant general manager, was saying the other day. “Those are the types of players that bring out the best in other players.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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