Dave Bolland finally nearing return, could play versus Montreal

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Dave Bolland has been medically cleared to play since late February. It might now be a case where Bolland has decided the comfort level he would prefer to play at is simply not going to arrive any time soon or be further helped along by sitting out more games. James Mirtle also reported today that he has been looking better this week in practice.

More practice updates on Bolland from David Alter:

Might we see JvR – Bozak – Kessel, Lupul – Kadri – Kulemin and Raymond – Bolland – Clarkson for the first time this season?

The Leafs have not been able to roll those lines at any point this season. Clarkson was suspended for the first 10 games, Kulemin missed the month of October after leaving injured in the second game of the season versus Philadelphia, Bozak went down for nearly a month in late October, and Bolland almost had the rest of his season wiped out in early November.

If he plays, obviously Randy Carlyle would be wise to take the approach of easing him into the lineup. Not only that, but expecting a significant contribution out of Bolland in the remaining 10 or 11 games is probably unrealistic. Jumping back into the lineup at a crucial time of the season when the League is shifting into stretch drive and playoff mode, not only will he be dealing with some lingering discomfort, but he’ll be spending several games getting up to speed and rediscovering his timing with and against players who are now elevating to playoff-like intensity.

The Leafs could sure use any added depth contributions at this point, though, if Bolland is able to help provide them. Mason Raymond has six points in his last 10 games, two of which came shorthanded and some of which was garnered by moving up the lineup, but among the others to feature on the Leafs‘ third line of late?

PlayerPts in last 10 GPI

Jonathan Bernier is also expected to be a game time decision tomorrow.