Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ponikarovsky/Wellwood up in air for Friday night

Maple Leafs forward Alexei Ponikarovsky left practice today in a sling after hurting his arm when falling on a player. With forward Kyle Wellwood having strained his groin yesterday, the last two days of practice have been tough on the team.

As a result the Toronto Maple Leafs have recalled forwards Aleksander Suglobov and Ben Ondrus from the Toronto Marlies this afternoon. Wellwood is believed to be traveling with the team and Ponikarovsky is staying behind.

Losing two top players is going to hurt, with forward Nik Antropov already out of the lineup. We think the first line could be Mats Sundin between Darcy Tucker and Alex Steen. This was a line combination used in the earlier games when Ponikarovsky, Wellwood and Antropov were playing well together.

The Leafs are travelling to Chicago for this first time since 2003 to take on the Blackhawks Friday night. Face off is at 8:00 p.m ET.

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