Toronto Maple Leafs Suffer Yet Another Unfortunate Injury

OTTAWA, ON - SEPTEMBER 18: Toronto Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot (15) rounds the net as he fends off Ottawa Senators defenseman Maxence Guenette (50) during third period National Hockey League preseason action between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators on September 18, 2019, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - SEPTEMBER 18: Toronto Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot (15) rounds the net as he fends off Ottawa Senators defenseman Maxence Guenette (50) during third period National Hockey League preseason action between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators on September 18, 2019, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have not played a single game this season with their optimal lineup.

In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t played a game with their optimal lineup since Jake Muzzin was acquired from L.A last January.

They almost did.

For one period, they dressed the best lineup they possibly could have, but then Nazem Kadri was injured by concussion, and they haven’t done so since.

Now a lot of people like to say “injuries are no excuse.”  And, “Injuries happen to every team.”

And while this is true, listing one team that overcame their injuries is just an example of anecdotal evidence and it isn’t proof of anything.

As for injuries being an excuse, they are a valid one, since the healthiest contender tends to win far more often than anyone else, and this is true across all sports.

Toronto Maple Leafs New Injury

The Toronto Maple Leafs so far this year have been very unlucky.  Travis Dermott and Zach Hyman were out until early and mid November respectively, while John Tavares missed a big chunk of games with a broken finger.

Just as those guys were coming back, Mitch Marner fell akwardly while stepping on a stick and suffered a high-ankle sprain which will keep him out for a month or so.

And now we receive this news:

According to the Leafs PR, Kerfoot suffered the injury against the Kings on November 5th and tried to play through it.

Kerfoot has excelled on a line this year with Ilya Mikheyev and Kasperi Kapanen, posting a 54% Corsi, five goals and eight points.  (stats naturalstattrick.com).

He’s an excellent defender, but Mike Babcock hasn’t really seen fit to play him in such a role, overrelying on the fourth line for tough assignments like its 1995.

Either way, the Leafs will miss Kerfoot, as they are also without Mitch Marner.

Perhaps this will lead to a trade or most likely, a call-up?

Maybe Jeremy Bracco finally gets his first taste of the NHL?

Perhaps this forces Babcock to give Nic Petan a shot playing in a spot in the lineup where he can show off his highly impressive offensive talent?

At this point, no one can say for sure what the Leafs – who employ Cody Ceci as a top pairing defenseman while forcing the eminently superior Rasmus Sandin to continue unnecessarily in the AHL – will do.

Next. How Many Straws Are There? For Babcock, None!. dark

The Leafs will play the Bruins tonight, and it will be interesting to see what kind of lineup they ice.