Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
John Klingberg out for Sunday and possibly long term per Sheldon Keefe
By Jon Steitzer3 months ago
When you are talking about an injury to a struggling player it is always something that fans are going to view with mixed emotions. Presently, I’m sure there aren’t too many people disappointed that John Klingberg will be held out of the lineup and that it could be a while before he is seen playing again, but on the other hand there is plenty of sympathy for someone who has played the game at the highest level and is now being confronted with the fact that their body won’t let them do that anymore. That’s pretty much the situation here.
Per Josh Kloke, Klingberg (as well as Conor Timmins) have been ruled out for tomorrow morning’s game against the Wild. The Maple Leafs defence will mirror what they used against Detroit and in fact the Leafs lineup will remain exactly the same as it was on Friday.
It seems likely that both Klingberg and Timmins will be reassessed once the Maple Leafs return to North America (presumably doing a pitstop in Toronto before heading out for their two game road trip) and that will give us a better idea of what comes next for Klingberg. Timmins is now considered day to day and with the Leafs not playing again until next weekend after facing the Wild tomorrow, he is now looking like a very real possibility for the third pairing.
Klingberg on the other hand seems to be trending towards the “Robidas Island” and joining Matt Murray in Leafs purgatory. His combination of poor play, chronic injury, and handcuffing contract seem to be pointing him in the direction that what is best is seek treatment as soon as possible and trying to regroup for one last attempt at an NHL contract next offseason. From the Leafs perspective it frees up LTIR space sooner rather than later and even if it is just to allow the Leafs to run a 23 player roster and not necessarily go out to find an immediate replacement, that is a step in the right direction. It seems like it will come down largely to what the doctor’s say and what John Klingberg feels is best for him.
Even if this isn’t a completely shut down John Klingberg situation, it does seem like the Leafs will be planning on him being out for more than another game or two and with Timmins on the horizon and Lagesson and Benoit being reliable enough in a bottom pairing capacity, the biggest defensive concerns remain focused on getting what Toronto needs out of their top four blueliners.
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