High maintenance: Toews out, Friday notes

That nagging upper-body injury that kept Devon Toews out of yesterday’s practice will apparently keep him out many more days. There’s further evaluation coming to see how many, but Brent Thompson said it’s week-to-week at this point, and Toews’ consecutive-games streak ends after the first 106 of his pro career. Thompson said it’s been bothering Toews all season, which in hindsight probably explains the couple/three times they’d skip him for a shift though there didn’t seem to be any urgency around him.

So that’s two top defensemen gone in a day, 40 percent of the top power-play unit, with Sebastian Aho in Winnipeg with the Islanders (though evidently not in). Parker Wotherspoon was in Toews’ spot next to Kyle Burroughs, and Patrick Cullity was on the right in Aho’s next to Kane Lafranchise. “At the end of the day, that’s why we signed eight quality defensemen,” Thompson said, “and we’ve got a guy in the East Coast League who’s an excellent defenseman (Mike Cornell).”

(Toews actually gained a point yesterday afternoon: The league corrected that assist from Saturday in Hartford that had been credited to Scott Eansor. Appears it won’t change the last Saturday goal from Toews to Ben Holmstrom, though; not enough video evidence that it changed direction. Either way, that will apparently be Toews’ last point for a while.)

Toews’ power-play spot was taken up by Ryan Bourque today. Lafranchise had Aho’s at the blue line.

The news, actually, was better on Stephen Gionta: Thompson said Gionta is cleared to skate, and they’ll try to rehab his upper-body injury in the meantime. Still week-to-week. “We’ll see how it reacts to rehab while he’s skating,” Thompson said. “If it reacts (well), we may have three or four weeks. If it doesn’t, then, long term like we initially thought.”

No defenseman call-up expected for tomorrow’s game against Binghamton; they’ve got six, and it’s just one day. Would figure they’ll make a move by next week, though, with the road trip to Wilkes-Barre, Rochester and Toronto. Along with Cornell, Worcester also has Patrick McNally leading ECHL defensemen with 11 goals, three of them on the power play.

Tough one for Worcester last night in Reading. The Railers have a home-and-home with Manchester this weekend. Before that game, the ECHL transactions showed that the Royals had suspended Loic Leduc: He went to play in the Quebec semi-pro LNAH.

Pittsburgh called up Andrey Pedan among a sampler of transactions.

Sacred Heart gets back at it tonight at Webster Bank Arena, starting a home-and-home with Holy Cross.

Embarrassing loss to Slovakia last night for the juniors; Mike Ashmore’s up there. The outdoor game against Canada is today at 3.

Horrible couple of days on either side of my old neighborhood.

And RIP, Rose Marie.

Michael Fornabaio