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Stanley Cup Final
At the Rink blog

Connolly nearing season debut for Maple Leafs

Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 4:22 PM

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Connolly nearing season debut for Maple Leafs
NEW YORK -- It's taken a little longer than coach Ron Wilson may have liked, but he'll likely be working with the roster he hoped to have on opening night when the Maple Leafs face the Rangers on Thursday night.

Tim Connolly, who signed a two-year, $9.5 million contract during the summer, has missed the team's first eight games while dealing with an undisclosed upper-body injury. He practiced with no problems at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday and said he's good to go.

"We'll wait till tomorrow before we make any decisions," Wilson said, "but Timmy Connolly's very, very, very, very close."

Tyler Bozak will definitely make his return after missing two games with a foot injury.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday