Sports Tavares returns to practice but status for Saturday unclear

21:15  30 october  2019
21:15  30 october  2019 Source:   thescore.com

Maple Leafs set to begin life without John Tavares against Bruins

  Maple Leafs set to begin life without John Tavares against Bruins TORONTO — Alexander Kerfoot was the man in the middle at Maple Leafs' practice on Friday. The centre took up the spot normally occupied by Toronto captain John Tavares, who is out at least two weeks with a broken finger, on a line with Mitch Marner and Ilya Mikheyev. Kerfoot had a brief chat with head coach Mike Babcock before the on-ice session began at the team's practice facility. Toronto's top line of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Andreas Johnsson remained the same, while veteran centre Jason Spezza — a healthy scratch for three of the team's eight games — was between Kasperi Kapanen and Trevor Moore.

a hockey game in the snow© Claus Andersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a broken finger on Oct. 16 against the Washington Capitals.

The 29-year-old skated on a line flanked by Mitch Marner and Trevor Moore, but head coach Mike Babcock says it's unclear when Tavares will return to game action.

“I can’t tell you when he’s playing. I just know we’re doing everything, and he’s doing everything, to be ready when he gets his opportunity," Babcock said following Wednesday's practice, according to The Athletic's Jonas Siegel. "The doctors will check that out and decide when he’s available.”

Travis Dermott is cleared to return to the lineup

  Travis Dermott is cleared to return to the lineup He is going to play against Washington on Tuesday.Travis Dermott said he’s been medically cleared to return for #Leafs, ready to go whenever called upon: “I've been thinking about and dreaming about [that first game] for the last six months so it's really exciting.

The Leafs don't play again until they meet the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, and Tavares says he'll have a better idea of his status for that contest after practice on Friday, according to the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan.

Tavares was originally slated to be out for at least two weeks.

The Ontario native tallied three goals and seven points in eight games before his injury. Tavares led the Leafs and finished third in the NHL with a career-high 47 goals in 2018-19.

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Struggling Maple Leafs seek answers: 'We're not where we want to be' .
John Tavares believes the Toronto Maple Leafs are still searching for their identity after suffering a third straight loss Thursday against the New York Islanders. "We're not where we want to be," Tavares said following the 5-4 defeat, according to TSN's Mark Masters. "We obviously want to play a lot better, a lot more consistent. We got to keep working to find a way." The Maple Leafs have won just nine of their first 20 games of the campaign. They've conceded the opening tally in 15 of those contests and allowed a 21st-ranked 3.25 goals against per game.

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