The Toronto Maple Leafs have four players who have tested positive for Covid.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing the Vancouver Canucks tonight, as scheduled, at least, as of the time I write this.
The Leafs have placed John Tavares, Jason Spezza, Alex Kerfoot and Wayne Simmonds into Covid Protocol. Ironically, Spezza had his suspension reduced and was allowed to play tonight. At least now he will get paid!
If the game goes ahead tonight, they will be extremely shorthanded, as the NHL has done away with Taxi Squads and the team is on the West Coast.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Vancouver Canucks
This game should be canceled.
I just don’t understand how going forward with this game is worth the risk. There is almost no chance that four Leafs tested positive, but everyone else on the team is fine.
In fact, the NHL should close down the whole league. I haven’t heard a single logical reason for continuing on, especially with Christmas being next week. Calgary, Colorado and Florida already have their games postponed through Christmas, and the league should be adding the other 28 teams to that list.
Assuming this game does happen, the Leafs lineup will be pretty crazy.
Mitch Marner and Brett Seney are already sidelined with injuries, so that makes six forwards unable to go.
Alex Steeves and Carl Dahlstrom are with the club and have been recalled from the Marlies and I assume both will dress tonight, but that still leaves the Leafs two players short.
Their lineup likely looks like this:
Bunting – Matthews – Kase
Steeves – Engvall – Nylander
Ritchie – Kampf – Dahlstrom?
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Liljegren
Dermott – Holl
Really, for one game, this probably won’t be too bad. Each line gets about three extra minutes, and it’s no problem. Theoretically.
This game will require Auston Matthews and Jack Campbell to lift the team upon their backs and use their superstar powers to get the Leafs a win.
Of course, the most likely result is that Vancouver wins by a touchdown. Oh well! If the Leafs even give a halfway decent effort, I will be impressed.
From a selfish perspective, I hope the game goes through or I will miss the goalie minimums in both my hockey pools! Other than that, however, I can see no reason why this game should go on.
If it does, however, I don’t see how the league can make the Leafs play back-to-back tomorrow against Seattle. It’s a weird situation, but I guess we’ll see what happens.