March 4, 2006(TORONTO) --
It was not what the Maple Leafs needed. After losing Friday night to Buffalo, not only did the Leafs fall 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators Saturday but they also lost the services of forward Eric Lindros.
The Big E left after the second period and did not return due to his right wrist problem that kept him out of the lineup for almost three months. After the game he addressed the media and had this to say.
"I tore it again and I'll need surgery this week," an emotional Lindros said. "It's not a lot of fun."
Head coach Pat Quinn understands the tough time that Lindros is going through.
"I agree it's been a frustrating time for him and us," Quinn said. "We hoped to have him healthy and his history has been to miss some games but with that history you wouldn't think it was the wrist."
The news on Lindros was a damper on Saturday night's ceremony that honoured Tie Domi. Friday, Domi became only the 206th player in NHL history to play in his 1000th NHL game. Domi played his very first NHL game with the Maple Leafs during the 1989-1990 season. The Leafs tough guy played only two games in his first go around in Toronto but he amassed 42 penalty minutes in those two games.
When Domi played in his milestone game against Buffalo he was only the seventh player in the history of the Maple Leafs to have played his first and 1000th game in the Blue and White.
Former teammate Doug Gilmour and Domi's childhood hero Tiger Williams joined the Domi family on the ice. A cheque for $10,000 was made to Variety Village on Domi's behalf.
The Leafs enforcer was quite emotional when he addressed the crowd.
"It's a real honour to have this night," Domi said. "I'm quite overwhelmed by the whole thing."
Playing in that number of games, Domi had plenty of people to thank.
"I want to thank my coaches, general managers, medical staff, trainers and all my teammates."
For any player to make it to the National Hockey League, family makes great sacrifices and in this case it was no different.
"I dedicate this to my family." Domi said. "My mom is at her first game, my brother and sister and especially my dad who is upstairs looking down on us."
Domi's teammates realized what the evening meant and they wanted to put a good performance forward.
"Seeing Tie in this game, the whole team wanted to play well for him because it's a great night for him," Kyle Wellwood said.
Over his time in Toronto, Domi has become a real fan favourite and he was very thankful to his legion of supporters.
"I want to thank the fans in Canada for all their support, it's unbelievable." "I don't call you guys fans, I call you friends."
Despite losing 4-2 to the Senators, Quinn was pleased with his teams effort and realizes that they finally have something to build on.
"We did a lot of good things tonight, we were a better team then we have been." "In the second we had a strong period, our finish right now isn't what you hoped for but our defensive game was much better we had a good effort throughout our lineup."
The Leafs can try and continue that effort Tuesday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens.