The number of Leafs hitting the sidelines is piling up:
Sandin took a knee-on-knee hit from Neal Pionk, of the Winnipeg Jets:
We all know Pionk is a dirty player, that’s why the NHL saw fit to ding him with a suspension for this knee:
Pionk is a complete dirtbag, but at least Jason Spezza got him back (Pionk has a concussion, even though he played the remainder of the game and the concussion was only announced a short period before Spezza’s hearing with player safety):
Unfortunately, Spezza will pay a price for this hit, as he has an in-person hearing with the department of player safety:
We’ll know the extent of Jason’s suspension soon enough, but make no mistake, he’ll be sorely missed on this team as he generates a ton of their depth scoring.
Joining Marner and Sandin on the injured list will be Travis Dermott:
In a nutshell, this means Marner, Sandin and Dermott will join Petr Mrazek (currently with the Marlies on a conditioning stint) and Ilya Mikheyev (working his way back from a wrist injur) on the sidelines due to injury, though Mrazek and Mikheyev could be back soon, while Spezza will sit due to a suspension. This will lend an opportunity to Alex Steeves and Kristians Rubins, as both will make their NHL debut’s tonight against the Blue Jackets:
As it stands, this is the teams projected lineup tonight:
If it’s my call I don’t think I’d have Simmonds on the top line, but these things are fluid, so I expect some line shuffling in game if it’s not working out. I’d definitely try to give Alex Steeves a few minutes there. I know it’s his NHL debut, but he’s an offensive player that’s riding high, so I don’t see a problem with putting him in a place where he can play with high-end talent in an attempt to allow him to hit the ground running. Instead, he’s going to be put on a line with two pluggers, who won’t be able to set him up or finish any plays if he’s capable of setting them up. Meanwhile, he’s not likely to play much on that line, while seems pretty pointless.
Enjoy the game.
GO LEAFS GO!!