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Bozak on IR, Kadri’s chance to really shine begins

Nazem Kadri; Keith Aulie

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri, right, is congratulated by Keith Aulie at the final buzzer in an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Toronto on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011. Kadri scored in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 win. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


Injuries create opportunities and for Maple Leafs rookie Nazem Kadri, that chance might be now.

The Leafs put forward Tyler Bozak on injured reserve which will put him out of action for at least the next three games. Bozak was hurt after crashing into the boards on Friday night.

Injured forward Matt Lombardi will likely come back to take his place in the lineup, but Kadri, who has impressed of late for Toronto, could be the guy to make the most of the opportunity. Since being called up over a week ago, Kadri has three goals in four games and has shown that maybe he’s worthy of being the first-round pick he was back in 2009.

The Leafs are eager to see what Kadri can do but with Lombardi’s return coinciding with Bozak’s injury, they may be more comfortable leaving Kadri in his current spot in the lineup. If he keeps pumping in the goals, however, earning some time with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul could be in his future.