0

Could we see Andreas Johnsson in the playoffs?

In many ways the time to recover from injuries is a double edged sword for the Leafs. On the one hand they will most certainly have fully recovered versions of Jake Muzzin and Morgan Rielly back in the lineup, and very likely a 100% ready to go Ilya Mikheyev as well. On the other hand, look at who all will be coming back from the Blue Jackets…

INJURIES
Josh AndersonIR
JOSH ANDERSON

Rating: 73.4#42 IR1

Cam AtkinsonIR
CAM ATKINSON

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Rating: 75.3#28 IR2

Oliver BjorkstrandOUT
OLIVER BJORKSTRAND

Rating: 77.8#10 IR3

Seth JonesIR
SETH JONES

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Rating: 78.3#4 IR4

Dean KukanIR
DEAN KUKAN

Rating: 71.5#85 IR5

Alexandre TexierIR
ALEXANDRE TEXIER

Rating: 72.6#70 IR6

Nathan GerbeDTD
NATHAN GERBE

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Rating: 71.3#93 IR7

Ryan MurrayDTD
RYAN MURRAY

Rating: 73.7#40 IR8

Dang! A fully healthy Nathan Gerbe. We’re doomed. Okay, Atkinson, Bkorkstrand, and Jones are probably the key takeaways from this and to a lesser extent Murray and Anderson, but the Jackets have had just as rough a ride as the Leafs and unquestionably results in an upgrading lineup over this:

LW C RW Forwards
Alexander Wennberg
ALEXANDER WENNBERG

Rating: 69.7#122 LW

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS

Rating: 74.6#38 C

Emil Bemstrom
EMIL BEMSTROM

Rating: 71.3#91 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 71.87#29 FL1
Nick Foligno
NICK FOLIGNO

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Rating: 72.5#61 LW

Boone Jenner
BOONE JENNER

Rating: 71.6#98 C

Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST

Rating: 72.6#68 RW

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
FL2 Rating
Rating: 72.23#23 FL2
Kevin Stenlund
KEVIN STENLUND

Rating: 72.3#65 LW

Riley Nash
RILEY NASH

Rating: 69.7#137 C

Eric Robinson
ERIC ROBINSON

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Rating: 70.0#117 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.66#24 FL3
Jakob Lilja
JAKOB LILJA

Rating: 70.7#104 LW

Devin Shore
DEVIN SHORE

Rating: 69.6#141 C

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Stefan Matteau
STEFAN MATTEAU

Rating: 72.4#73 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.88#13 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Zach Werenski
ZACH WERENSKI

Rating: 78.4#5 LD

Markus Nutivaara
MARKUS NUTIVAARA

Rating: 72.4#52 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 75.44#9 DL1
Vladislav Gavrikov
VLADISLAV GAVRIKOV

Rating: 71.8#80 LD

David Savard
DAVID SAVARD

Rating: 72.4#54 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.06#23 DL2
Scott Harrington
SCOTT HARRINGTON

Rating: 71.2#95 LD

Andrew Peeke
ANDREW PEEKE

Rating: 72.6#49 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.89#12 DL3

Anyways, even with a completely healthy Blue Jackets roster, I like the Leafs odds of surviving the play-in and moving on to the playoffs and the further the Leafs move along in the post season, a question comes to mind…

Will Andreas Johnsson play?

I’m not going to presume to know anything medically about his rehab process, but I do know how to look at a calendar and based on six months from the tweet below and that puts Johnsson’s return in the middle of August.

So assuming half of July is gone to training camp, the half is gone to the play-in round, it seems entirely possible that Leafs could have Johnsson back for either the first or second round of the real playoffs, assuming they make it that far.

It’s not that this has been an ideal offensive output year for Andreas. He was behind his 20 goal, 43 points in 73 game pace of the previous year, only scoring 8 goals and picking up 21 points in the 43 games he played this season. He did however take more strides as a complete player, joining the penalty kill, and seeing his hit and blocked shot numbers increase, and he had encouraging five on five shot differentials and expected goal results as well, transitioning him to more of a complimentary player in the top six, a la Zach Hyman, rather than relying on him to drive offense on a sheltered third line.

While this may be wishful thinking and there’s no reason to believe that Johnsson would be fully ready to go and instead might just be ready to start on ice training by August, adding Johnsson back to the Leafs lineup brings the team as close to being a fully operational Death Star as they’ve been all year. (Assuming no injuries occur in training camp or the play-in round.)

LW C RW
Hyman Matthews Marner
Johnsson Tavares Nylander
Mikheyev Kerfoot Kapanen
Clifford Engvall Spezza

While at this point it might be a lot of wishful thinking, having Johnsson play hockey again this year is back on the table is something to look forward to and only helps raise the expectations of what the Leafs could do in this cobbled together playoff format.