Why there’s no need to panic on the Maple Leafs injury front

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
2 months ago
With the Leafs expected to kick off their postseason slate on Saturday night, there’s no need to read too much into the list of wounded players right now.
Aside from Calle Jarnkrok, whose availability for Game 1 has been in question for weeks now, there’s no reason to suggest – at least currently – that anyone else of significance will be forced to miss the series opener.
Over the past few days, predictably, Sheldon Keefe has been extremely mum when discussing injury specifics. Just another tell-tale sign that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin in earnest. You won’t hear much now until the season’s over.
For starters, it’s the dog days of the season, there’s no question most players are dealing with something this time of year. The body’s barking —that’s for sure. With that in mind, most of the lineup decisions over the final few contests should be looked at as precautionary. There’s no need hyper analyze anything. Since Saturday night, Toronto’s been locked into third in the Atlantic Division, and quite frankly, the results of these games don’t really matter. That’s why it made no sense to see Leafs Nation having a full-blown meltdown on social media following the past two losses. They lost. So what.
For all intents and purposes, everything’s about Auston Matthews’ pursuit of 70 goals over games 81 and 82. On top of that, it’s imperative to just get through these games unscathed. All in all, it would be very surprising to see the Leafs get involved in too many extracurriculars —even against the Panthers. It’s all about the playoffs now. As it should be.
Of the injured, as mentioned, Jarnkrok’s status is up there. After that, even though he left Saturday night’s tilt with a lower-body injury and won’t play the final two regular season games, Bobby McMann hasn’t been ruled out for Game 1. Even if he was, it’s not like the Leafs would come out and say it anyway. We’ll see what’s up on him later in the week.
Meantime, the fact that Max Domi was able to play against Detroit is a good thing. Entering that tilt, the Leafs were technically still playing for something. It sounds like they’re just letting him rest up and lick some wounds, and that’s without question, the right approach. The Domi-Matthews-Bertuzzi trio has been electric over the past month.
Fingers crossed for a smooth finish to the regular season for the Maple Leafs.

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