The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a wild first half of the NHL season
Despite facing a fair amount of adversity early on, the Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit fourth in the Atlantic division with a 25-17-7 record and are four points out of a playoff spot.
This is not exactly ideal for a team that has one of the deepest offensive rosters in the league, but as I will explain, it could have been a lot worse.
As we continue the mid-season All-Star events in St. Louis this weekend, possibly the largest of many storylines for the Maple Leafs thus far has been the abundance and severity of injuries that have plagued this extremely talented roster.
Toronto Maple Leafs Injuries
Ten regular roster players have missed games due to injury this season, and seven of those players have missed at least ten games. This list includes significant pieces such as Mitch Marner, Zach Hyman, Travis Dermott, and Andreas Johnsson to name a few:
* = Currently on Injured Reserve
- Trevor Moore – 27 games
- Zach Hyman – 19 games
- Andreas Johnsson – 15 games
- Travis Dermott – 13 games
- Mitch Marner – 11 games
- Jake Muzzin – 11 games
- Ilya Mikheyev – 10 games*
- John Tavares – 7 games
- Alexander Kerfoot – 5 games
- Morgan Rielly – 3 games*
It seems that every time that the Toronto Maple Leafs get close to playing with their ideal lineup, another injury occurs, and yet they have somehow managed to remain in the conversation for playoff contention.
While injuries are things that every team has to deal with, the Leafs defensive core is not deep enough to withstand the absence of any player, let alone their top defensemen.
These injuries seem like the ultimate sacrifice that the Leafs had to give up in exchange for a healthy Auston Matthews, who is yet to play a full 82 game season in his career, and is on pace for one of the best seasons of his career.