Good News Everyone! It looks like the Leafs will have help arriving shortly.
Jake Gardiner is reported to be feeling well. It’s hoped he can get into a couple of games next week. Dermott plays in Ottawa, Sparks is confirmed starter. #LeafsForever
— Paul Hendrick (@HennyTweets) March 29, 2019
Both Gardiner and Dermott are going to be game ready soon, with Dermott getting into the game Saturday Night and Gardiner likely returning Thursday night.
Mike Babcock said he’d like for Jake Gardiner to play in last two regular season games for #Leafs. May mean they have to dress seven D one night in case, but wants Gardiner to be up and going for playoffs: “He’s an important, important, important player for our team.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) March 29, 2019
This might come as a bit of a surprise to some of you, but both of these players are good defensemen, and we should pretty damn near ecstatic that our Marincin, Holl, Ozhiganov days are over (for now).
Comparing the results before and after the injuries should solidify the fact that a much better team will be heading into the playoffs for the Leafs, and it’s one that should be able to hold its own against the Bruins…
Gardiner’s last game was February 25th, and Dermott’s last game was February 27th, since Feb. 27th the Leafs have had a losing record, and seen their goals against average increase by over a goal per game. Could other factors be at play as well, sure, but I’m willing to bet that the absence of 2 top four defensemen could be a big part of that.
Oh yeah, and they said something about Sparks too…
Garret Sparks starts for the #leafs in Ottawa tomorrow. Mike Babcock says “It just gives Fred a bunch of time off here this week.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 29, 2019
So, it looks like Garret Sparks will be getting into a couple of games at least before the season closes out, as he’s getting the nod on Saturday night and the Leafs have a back to back Monday and Tuesday, so we’ll definitely be seeing him again soon too. Ideally it would also be nice to see him get into one of the last two games of the season, but maybe that’s pushing our luck and we should be happy with what we’re getting.
Anyways, it seems like the Leafs situation is about to improve. As Mark Master’s notes below the Leafs may run with 7D in the final two games, which might give us a chance to see Calle Rosen and how he can fit into the playoff lineup as well.
Babcock is hoping Gardiner will be able to get in two regular season games before playoffs and may dress 7 D to make it happen
With the focus on special teams today, Jake worked separately from the main group today
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 29, 2019
Exciting. Now all they have to do is clinch.