The Toronto Maple Leafs had an off-day Monday after a weekend chalk full of news.
Since there was no practice yesterday, there was a lot of speculation about how the Toronto Maple Leafs would react to the loss of Jason Spezza to suspension, and the injuries to Mitch Marner and Rasmus Sandin.
The team recalled three players this morning, and placed two others on the injured reserve.
Let’s break it down:
Toronto Maple Leafs Injury and Lineup News
The Leafs have placed Mitch Marner and Rasmus Sandin on the I.R. They have recalled Alex Biega, Krsians Rubins and Alex Steeves.
Marner was hit by Muzzin in last Friday’s practice and though no one is saying outloud what is wrong, he very clearly has a concussion. (Editor’s Note: It turns out it’s a should injury). The team said at first they were being cautious, but clearly there’s an issue, and Marner will be out at least until Saturday (you need to be on the IR for minimum seven days). Update: See tweet below.
As for Sandin, they are saying 2-3 weeks which is quite miraculous based on the hit. Sandin is having a breakout year and is teasing stardom. Marner is playing like one of the NHL’s best players (as usual) but isn’t quite getting his normal results. Both players will create massive holes in the Leafs lineup.
Travis Dermott also missed practice, so tonight’s lineup looks like this:
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the NHL’s deepest team, by far. They could have gone with Joseph Duszak and Josh Ho-Sang instead. They also have Joey Anderson and Nick Robertson.
Ilya Mikheyev remains sidelined. Not to mention that any team with Marner, Nylander and Tavares hardly looks shorthanded.
Alex Steeves, 21 years old and undrafted, is one reason why the Leafs are so comfortable trading draft picks. They signed the ex-NCAA forward to a three-year ELC and he promptly entered the AHL and scored a point per game. It’s like getting an extra second-round pick for free.
Kristens Rubins, good enough to get the call, is 23 and also undrafted. He’s not much of a scorer, but they say he’s the Marlies best D-man. (stats hockeydb.com).
Joseph Duszak, another undrafted signee, is a point-per-game defenseman with the Marlies this year and will likely get a chance at some point as well. Who needs draft picks when these guys constantly fall in your lap? (Biega is just a journeyman, 33, who provides some depth).
It sucks that Marner and Sandin are injured, but it’s interesting to see all these new auditions and fun line combos. The Toronto Maple Leafs are at the top of the NHL standings and should be able to withstand a little adversity. They play Columbus Tonight.