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Armstrong’s pain is Caputi’s gain

Posted By Ben Fisher On Oct 27 2010 @ 3:13 pm In Toronto Maple Leafs | No Comments

Luca Caputi’s demotion to the Marlies lasted just eight games, as he was recalled today by the Leafs to take the place of the injured Colby Armstrong.

While Caputi may not have been the most deserving Marlies winger for the promotion, the team feels that he is the best-suited candidate to step in immediately and fill the third line void left by Armstrong. Six games into the AHL season, Caputi trails fellow Leaf hopefuls Nazem Kadri, Christian Hanson and Brayden Irwin in team scoring. But his physical presence and shooting ability (he has a team-leading 24 shots on goal for the Marlies) closely mirror the skills of Armstrong.

A third line of Caputi, Tim Brent and Fredrik Sjostrom has the chance to be a high-energy, gritty group that could see shut down time against other teams’ scoring lines.

That’s not to say the loss of Armstrong isn’t a tough blow for Toronto.

The former Thrasher’s size, strength and physical brand of play make him one of the most irreplaceable Leaf forwards (possibly second to Phil Kessel). If he does have a right wrist fracture (from a slash by Chris Higgins of the Panthers in the first period of last night’s game) and will need, as reported, 4-6 weeks coming off surgery, it could be a huge blow to a team with such a physical identity.

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