MONTREAL – Scott Gomez will be out of action for at least a week with an upper body injury, Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said Saturday.
The veteran centre appeared to injure a shoulder in the Canadiens 3-1 loss in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
“I don’t know the exact length yet, whether it will be a couple of weeks or longer, but he’ll be out this week,” Martin said Saturday as the Canadiens prepared to face the rival Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.
Gomez, coming off a disappointing 2010-11 campaign, has only one assist in six games this season. The injury caused some line juggling that saw his usual right-winger Brian Gionta placed with Tomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri.
Defenceman Jaroslav Spacek skated with is teammates but is not quite ready to return from a suspected rib injury.
Leafs forward Tyler Bozak left his team’s skate early and a decision will be made at game time whether a sore foot will keep him out, coach Ron Wilson said. He added forward Clarke MacArthur, who has an undisclosed ailment, would also be also a game-time decision.
“I’m pretty positive Clarke will be playing, I’m not sure about Bozak,” Wilson said.
If Bozak sits out, Matthew Lombardi and Dave Steckel are expected to share time at centre on the top line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.
“Stecks (will be) getting out on power play situations to take the draw, and we’ll go from there,” Wilson said.
He also confirmed that defenceman Mike Komisarek will return after watching the Toronto’s 6-2 loss in Boston on Thursday from the press box.
“It was a chance for him to reset and I’m confident he will,” Wilson said of sitting out one of his alternate captains.
“Essentially the word would be meritocracy—that’s what we run here. If you’re playing well, you play. If you’re struggling and we have the number of healthy bodies we have here, we’ll get a healthy body in and give you a chance to sit back. If you watch the game from up high it’s a lot easier and that’s what we want Mike to see. Moving the puck, keeping the game simple, like he was earlier in the season.”
Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill is to be honoured before the game for playing his 1,000th NHL game this week. The former Bruin, Leaf and Penguin will be presented with gifts from the league and the Canadiens and will be with his family for a centre ice ceremony.
“My daughters are excited about it,” said Gill. “My family’s been a big part of why I kept my sanity through the years so it will be nice to have them out there.”
It will the 500th game of Cammalleri’s career. He returned Thursday from a skate cut above a knee.
“It’s a dream come true to play in this league. so it’s special to play that many,” the Toronto native said. “I’ve unfortunately had some injuries or I would have got there sooner, but hopefully I can play 500 more.”
Cammalleri suffered a deep gash in a win last week in Winnipeg when he was clipped by teammate Yannick Weber’s skate. He already wore cut resistant socks, but they only came up to just below the knee. He has since had his socks custom made to protect above the knee as well.