MONTREAL – Tomas Kaberle will have to wait a little longer to get back into the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup.
Coach Ron Wilson said Saturday his top defenceman will need another week to heal his injured right hand. Kaberle, who had the hand x-rayed on Friday, had hoped to play Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
“It’s not caution, he’s not ready to play, so he’ll be out probably until next Saturday,” Wilson said.
The veteran defenceman said he hopes to return sooner than that, and is already looking at a home game Tuesday night against Washington.
“Obviously, we still have a little issue there and the doctor said it’s not worth it to take the chance,” Kaberle said. “The Tuesday game is three or four days away, so that’s when we can look at it and hopefully play.
“I’m just hoping it’s Tuesday. As long as I play before the end of the season, I’ll feel good about it.”
Kaberle has missed eight games since he injured the hand March 3 in a game against New Jersey.
Back in the lineup is forward Nikolai Kulemin, who missed a game while his wife gave birth to a baby boy.
“First one, it’s all new – it’s good for me,” said Kulemin.
When asked if he hoped to score a goal for baby Alexei, the 22-year-old said “yeah, a couple.”
Martin Gerber is slated to start in goal for Toronto.
While Montreal toyed with the idea of sitting struggling defenceman Mike Komisarek and winger Andrei Kostitsyn, both will play against the Leafs.