The Toronto Maple Leafs are absolutely desperate to get their depth back at center, and could get one step closer to doing just that this week as it appears likely that Tyler Bozak will be good to go soon. He went full speed at practice on Monday, and didn’t suffer any setbacks with his injured groin.
Bozak spoke to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun about his progress and when he thought he’d be ready to play:
I’ll just take it day by day. It felt good today. Things are getting better. Without a setback, I hope to be out there by the end of the week… Obviously it hurt bad there for a bit. I’m not going to jump in if it’s not ready, but hopefully (Thursday.)
Getting Bozak back would be a huge boost for the Leafs, who haven’t had a lot of luck keeping their centers out on the ice recently. With Bozak on the shelf and Dave Bolland out as well, Toronto used Nazem Kadri as the team’s top center. He was suspended for bowling into Niklas Backstrom and won’t be available until Thursday either.
To shore up the middle of the ice, the Leafs made a deal for Peter Holland who had been stuck in the AHL with the Anaheim Ducks. He’ll eventually pan out and be a strong second or third line center. It looks like that could be the case sooner rather than later if Toronto gets the bodies back on Thursday that they’re hoping for.