In case you haven’t heard, Nikita Zaitsev will be back in the lineup tonight since December 15. Dealing with a broken foot, it appears he’s all revved up and ready to go for tonight’s matchup against the New York Islanders. To the joy of some, that means that Roman Polak will be healthy scratched tonight with the Leafs going with a Gardiner-Hainsey, Dermott-Zaitsev, Borgman-Carrick look on the defensive front.
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But he hasn’t exactly been at his best this season, as our friends at Pension Plan Puppets dove into today. Despite that, he’s averaging the second most icetime on the team when healthy.
So what would you do with him? Dial his minutes back? Keep him and Dermott as the Leafs’ bottom pair and give Borgman and Carrick a chance to move up in the lineup? Pray for Morgan Rielly to return? Only play him on special teams?
Let us know in the comments below.