The Toronto Maple Leafs have been forced to play without Nikolai Kulemin since early October, when the lumbering forward suffered a chipped bone in his ankle after blocking a shot in practice. While it was an injury that the forward could have played with for up to a month, the Leafs decided just to give him the time off that he needed to recover.
Kulemin will be good to go this weekend.
Kulemin says he’s good to go tomorrow v Canucks; Carlyle wasn’t sure big winger would be ready
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) November 1, 2013
David Clarkson was still serving his massive suspension when Kulemin went down with his bone chip. This will be the first time that the Maple Leafs will have most of their important forwards in the lineup during the regular season (sans Joffrey Lupul, who seems to be injured more often than not anyway).
Considering the team has gone 10-4-0 while waiting to get healthy, now might be a good time to get bullish on Toronto.
The squad is currently first in the Atlantic Division and has been getting offensive help from throughout the lineup. Kulemin may or may not be capable of posting 50 or 60 points again, but he’s another big body that can lean on defenders and give opposition fits when it comes to matchups.
It’ll be interesting to see where Kulemin fits in in the lineup as well. Lupul could return soon, which would give Toronto a strong top-nine moving forward.