After receiving a late, and somehow not penalized hit from the Oilers’ Brad Malone, Travis Dermott is expected to miss some extneded time as per the Leafs’ Public Relations Twitter account:
Maple Leafs defenceman Travis Dermott is expected to miss at least four weeks with a shoulder injury. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 28, 2019
This is a significant hindrance to Mike Babcock’s defensive deployment, since Jake Gardiner is already week-to-week with a back injury. Without its two puck moving defenders on the 2nd and 3rd pairs, the Leafs will probably be relying on stretch passes even more, if that’s even possible.
Here is the hit that took him out of last night’s game, in case you missed it:
Dermott in some serious pain after Malone knocks him down. Looking like his arm/elbow. pic.twitter.com/lZeS9gldap
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) February 28, 2019
Strangely enough, when Malone hit Dermott, he was so sure that he got a penalty for the hit from behind that he skated himself the penalty box before the referees correcting him, saying “no, you’re not going there” or something to that effect. He then assumes not that the referees determined the hit was legal, but that the hit was so illegal that he’s been ejected from the game. This was, of course, corrected later on. Check out the GIF video of the whole sequence:
This is the perfect encapsulation of the Leafs' inability to draw penalties in 2018/19 (they're on pace for a historic low).
– Brad Malone goes to the box after the Dermott hit
– Told he's not supposed to be there, assumes he's been tossed
– Malone finds out there's no penalty pic.twitter.com/MQPn2ihlzv
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) February 28, 2019
Dermott has played 60 games so far this season, missing three back in October due to a combination of illness and injury. He has scored 17 points from the back end this season, and been an important contributor in all areas. He is the third option on the powerplay if one of Morgan Rielly or Jake Gardiner are missing, and he’s a regular on the penalty kill, with the fourth most time there off all Toronto defenders.
The Maple Leafs have called up Martin Marincin to replace Dermott from the Toronto Marlies, who has 3 points in 8 games for them, and 2 points in 10 NHL games earlier this season with the Leafs before being sent down. Marincin spent most of the season in the press box, only being sent down after the Leafs were able to acquire Jake Muzzin a month ago.
Of course, nothing can go perfectly smooth when it comes to air travel, as we saw with the attempted delivery of Marincin’s hockey equipment:
Leafs got Marty Marincin to Pearson last night in time for flight to Long Island, but not his sticks and bag. So it was dropped at TV host Paul Hendrick’s house near Marlie rink and he brought it to LI commercial this morning. “I tried to get it carry-on” joked Hendrick.
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) February 28, 2019
Marincin will likely get into action right away as the Leafs prepare to face the New York Islanders on the road tonight. Tune in to see the maligned Leafs defense try to hold back the likes of Mat Barzal and Jordan Eberle tonight at 7 p.m.