MONTREAL – Toronto and Montreal each have a game-time decision to make on a defenceman – the Maple Leafs’ Bryan McCabe and the Canadiens’ Francis Bouillon.
Both will be evaluated before their game Thursday night at the Bell Centre to see if they can play.
McCabe, who has been out with a broken left hand since Toronto’s last visit to Montreal on Dec. 15, says he’s ready to go.
“It swells up when I do stuff, but that’s expected,” said McCabe. “There’ll be time for it to heal normally in the summer, but I think it’s good enough to go.”
Coach Paul Maurice said he would wait until McCabe gets to the rink on Thursday evening to see how the hand reacts to having taken part in the morning skate with the team.
“The healing’s done, everything’s where it’s supposed to be, it’s a question of comfort level for him,” said Maurice, who appeared to be leaning toward putting McCabe back in the lineup. “He was probably feeling well enough a few days ago.”
Bouillon is nursing a sore foot after blocking a shot in a 4-3 win over Ottawa on Tuesday night.
Coach Guy Carbonneau said that if Bouillon can’t play, winger Michael Ryder will return to the lineup after sitting out two games. Mathieu Dandenault would then likely move from forward back to defence.
Defenceman Roman Hamrlik will miss a second straight game with an illness.
“It’s a virus and I guess he caught a rash from the pills,” said Carbonneau. “A lot of it is precaution. Obviously we don’t want him to be around the other players. From what I hear, he feels a little bit better, so there’s a good chance for (him to return) this weekend.”