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Bertuzzi returns, Jarnkrok injured at practice, McMann heads to IR: Leafs Practice Notes
By Joseph Zita30 days ago
Days after narrowly defeating the Winnipeg Jets, 1-0, in overtime, the Toronto Maple Leafs returned to the ice for practice today ahead of their rematch against those same Jets in Winnipeg tomorrow night.
As players started to trickle onto the ice to begin practice, Tyler Bertuzzi, who missed the last game because he and his wife were expecting, returned to the ice to participate—a sign he’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow night.
However, with Bertuzzi’s return, Bobby McMann was not seen on the ice. As members of Leafs Nation typically do, they start to come up with possible reasons why he’s not on the ice. Whether it’s trade speculation, the player is about to be put on waivers, a rest day, or maybe an injury, no one knew why he wasn’t present until Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media post-practice.
But before practice ended, forward Calle Jarnkrok was seen departing the ice early while throwing his glove in frustration. According to David Alter, the 32-year-old blocked a point shot during a practice drill and was seen walking off the ice with a couple of staff members to the locker room.
It’s unknown where he blocked the shot, but Sheldon Keefe did have an update on his status, but not before Bobby McMann.
According to Sheldon Keefe, it seems like McMann is headed to injured reserve (IR) due to a lingering injury. McMann suffered a knee injury late last season and had been recovering from it all off-season, and it lingered into training camp. There is no certainty that he is dealing with the same knee injury this time, but it was worth mentioning that the 27-year-old had already been dealing with lingering issues with his knee at the start of training camp/preseason.
For Jarnkrok, who blocked a shot, Keefe says there is “concern” with him after leaving practice early today. According to Terry Koshan, Keefe said they have not decided whether the winger will travel with the team to Winnipeg for their last game before the All-Star break.
If there is “concern” with Jarnkrok after blocking the shot, but it’s maybe something he could play through, I’d say sit him either way. Toronto has one game between tomorrow and February 5th. Let Jarnkrok get the extra rest for the second half of the season. With McMann headed to IR and Jarnkrok hurting, it’s not worth potentially losing a top-nine forward for an extended period because you decided to play him either way tomorrow.
With all that injury news out of the way, Sheldon Keefe also announced a starter for tomorrow’s game. After back-to-back impressive outings, Ilya Samsonov will be getting the crease, making it his third consecutive start – the first time all season. Samsonov, who owns a record of 7-3-6 with an .875 SV% and 3.45 GAA, has been stellar since returning to the NHL. In three games since returning, he has gone 2-1-0 with a 1.31 GAA, .944 SV% and one shutout.
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)
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