February 26, 2014
TORONTO- Peter Holland found out quickly that lace bite is much worse than it sounds.
Holland was taken out of the Maple Leafs lineup in early February and labelled with lace bite after the tendons running from his shin to his toes on his left foot inflamed from trying out a new pair of skates in a game against the Florida Panthers. What was first expected to be a day-to-day issue, however, eventually got worse and turned into three weeks away from the ice with daily visits to a Toronto hospital.
“It’s pretty painful,” said Holland. “It didn’t really get released to the extent of the injury, everyone thought it was just lace bite, but it was very infected and I was going to the hospital four, five days in a row getting IV antibiotics. (I was) on crutches for a couple days.”
The timing of Holland’s injury could have been worse as the Olympic break gave him extra time to recover from the injury. But it was severe nonetheless and kept him away from the arena longer than expected.
Once infection was treated and inflammation decreased the former first-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks was cleared by medical staff and sent down to the Marlies.
The 23-year-old has played in two games in the last week with the AHL club and, despite being impactful in both, admitted that there was some rust.
“I found myself a little bit tired in the first game, obviously a month off was a little tough,” said Holland. “But I felt better in the second one.”
“It’s unfortunate but I’m working through it and happy to play again.”
Holland picked up an assist in Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators while playing on the club’s top line and power-play unit.
Including his time with the Norfolk Admirals-Anaheim’s AHL affiliate- Holland has produced eight goals and 14 points in 15 games.
“He’s a dominate player at this level,” said Marlies head coach Steve Spott.
Unfortunately for Holland his demotion to the Marlies isn’t a conditioning stint, so there is no certainty that he will be summoned back up to the Maple Leafs. And with centres Trevor Smith and David Bolland close to returning there doesn’t look to be any room on the big club.
“I’ve been sent down a couple times before, just one of those things where you focus on playing your game,” said Holland. “(Management) doesn’t say too much, they just tell you to concentrate on playing the game. Come down, work hard and try to be the best player and kind of see what happens.”
The Marlies currently lead the North Division, have pieced together four straight wins and have the post-season already in sight.
With the addition of Holland, the Marlies are the strongest they’ve been all season down the middle and Spott is thrilled to use the 6-foot-2 195-pound forward as long as he has him on his roster.
And as long as he’s around Holland will give a maximum effort to push the Marlies deep in the playoffs.
“If I’m a part of (the Marlies playoffs) I hope I can do the best I can to win some games.”