Leafs look to maintain momentum in Montreal

Following a terrifying injury to captain John Tavares, which left the team understandably shaken and led to a 2-1 Montreal win to start the series, the Leafs bounced back in a big way Saturday night, with Jack Campbell backstopping the team to a 5-1 dominant win. The series now tied at 1-1, the Buds head to Montreal tonight for the first game in a back-to-back, hoping to keep that momentum going to take a series lead.
While Carey Price was definitely the reason the Habs won game 1, he was also arguably at least part of the reason they lost game 2. Of course, the Leafs were buzzing, with lines clicking, passes connecting, and the defense keeping the Habs to only 23 SOG for the entire game. It was a dominant showing for the Leafs, and they’ll definitely be looking to replicate it tonight.
Meanwhile, it seems the Habs are looking to make some changes to help them recover from the 5-1 loss:

Cole Caufield replaces an injured Eric Staal in the #habs lineup for Game 3.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 24, 2021

Cole Caufield confirms he will play Game 3 for MON. Based on skate lines, Tomas Tatar is out.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 24, 2021

Tomas …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Frederik Andersen makes 12 saves on 14 shots in Marlies debut

Frederik Andersen makes 12 saves on 14 shots in Marlies debut

After being out since March 19th due to an injury, Frederik Andersen makes his return to the ice in a Toronto Marlies jersey. It was his first AHL game since January 12, 2014 with the Norfolk Admirals, which was the Anaheim Ducks AHL team at the time.
The start for Andersen was a little tough. Toronto gave away the puck, which lead to a breakaway goal from Jeff Malott.

Jeff Malott beats Frederik Andersen.#Marlies down 1-0. pic.twitter.com/gaS2ewsvGN
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) May 6, 2021

Then, 1:42 later, Ty Pelton-Byce makes a nice move to get around Filip Král and scores.

Ty Pelton-Byce scores the second goal for Manitoba.#Marlies down 2-0 with five shots against. pic.twitter.com/8BTMDrWUNX
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) May 6, 2021

Andersen allowed two goals on five shots in the first half of the period. He would then make three more saves to finish off the first.
He would then face a few more shots through the first half of the second period, making every save.

Better sequence for Andersen here as he makes a couple of decent stops: pic.twitter.com/JGh9Z1CQLP
— Nick Richard (@_NickRichard) May 6, 2021

Andersen finished off the afternoon with 12 saves on 14 shots.
What’ …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Another pitcher bites the dust

We’ve got yet another injury to the Blue Jays pitching staff. This time, it’s T.J. Zeuch.

Zeuch has been placed on the 10-day Injured List with right shoulder tendinitis and Santiago Espinal has been called up from the Alternate Training Site in a subsequent move.
That means that the Blue Jays currently have Kirby Yates, Patrick Murphy, Ross Stripling, Jordan Romano, Tyler Chatwood, Julian Merryweather, Nate Pearson, and Tom Hatch on the Injured List among pitchers on the 40-man roster. Only Elvis Luciano, Ty Tice, and Travis Bergen remain as pitchers on the 40-man who aren’t currently either injured or on the active roster.
Zeuch hasn’t exactly been all that good this year, as he’s allowed nine earned runs over 12 innings of work and he’s walked more guys than he’s struck out, but the fact pitchers are dropping like flies is obviously worrying. Of course, this isn’t just a Blue Jays thing so save your ‘hurrr durrrr more like the low-performance department!!!’ jokes. This is a thing all around baseball and it likely has to do with last season being significantly shorter than normal seasons.
Anyway, that’s eight pitchers on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Teoscar Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19, George Springer won’t join Blue Jays on upcoming road trip

There was some good Blue Jays-related injury news earlier today in regards to Nate Pearson, but Charlie Montoyo provided us with some more not-so-good news later on.

First up, Teoscar Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19. He had been quarantining after coming into contact with somebody who had a positive test last week. Montoyo said that Hernandez started feeling symptoms on Monday but is feeling better today. He’ll be out for at least 10 days, per MLB’s COVID protocol.
The hope, Montoyo says, is that since Hernandez has been isolated from the team since Friday, this situation is limited to just him and that it hasn’t spread to anybody else on the team. We don’t know yet if that’s the case, though.
Next up, George Springer took batting practice on Monday but won’t join the team on their upcoming road trip. After the New York series ends tomorrow, the Blue Jays hit the road to Kansas City, Boston, and Tampa Bay, and don’t play at home again until they face the Nationals on April 27. This would indicate that Springer won’t join the team until then, at the earliest.
Finally, in more positive news, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: What lines should the Leafs roll with all these injuries?

With Wayne Simmond’s injury on Saturday, the Leafs find themselves losing more and more depth by the day. Simmond’s joins Nick Robertson, Joe Thornton, Jack Campbell, and Travis Dermott as the Leafs players dealing with injuries, and while the Leafs have been lucky enough so far to not have any of their big names hurt (aside from Matthews missing a game), the Leafs depth continues to be tested.
So, what should the Leafs look at as their lineup while all of these players are out of the lineup? Here are my thoughts.
Forwards
Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. They’ve played well since Thornton’s injury, so why break up a good thing.
Jimmy Vesey – John Tavares – William Nylander
This is probably going to be a hot take, but I’d rather Keefe not put Ilya Mikheyev back on the Tavares line. When that line is together so far this season, they have 37.8% of the shot attempts and 30.57% of the expected goals. With their depth already depleted, I’d rather one of the two lines that should be dominating for us not be getting caved in.
Vesey has seen the …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Joey Anderson has been added to the Leafs’ forward group at practice

Another injury to a key forward opened up a spot for one of the Leafs depth pieces to make his way onto the roster.

Forward Joey Anderson has been added to today’s practice group. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 21, 2021

With Sheldon Keefe telling the media last night that Joe Thornton will be missing time after getting hurt during the third period from a Josh Archibald hit, a move would be forth coming to replace the 41-year-old for however long he will be out.
Joey Anderson being the guy to replace the future Hall of Famer was not a move many expected but he should do just fine slotting into the the bottom-six. Should he become the player brought up full-time, there will likely be a roster move made within the next few hours.
The return from the Andreas Johnsson trade played 18 games with the New Jersey Devils last season and recorded six points (four goals, two assists).
All stats unless otherwise noted are from Hockey-Reference.com.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Nick Robertson will be out for a month

After exiting Saturday’s game due to a knee injury, Sheldon Keefe told the media on Monday that Nick Robertson is expected to be on the sidelines for only a month.

The #leafs got “good news” on Nick Robertson yesterday, according to head coach Sheldon Keefe. He’ll miss about four weeks.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 18, 2021

While four weeks is quite a long time, it’s definitely a relief to hear that Robertson will be back to full strength in due time. The timetable makes his return to the lineup be around mid to late February.
Robertson exited the game after getting hit near the Leafs bench by Drake Batherson and having his left knee collided with the boards. He was in serious discomfort and left after only registering 2:20 of ice time and one shot.

Here is what happened to Robertson. pic.twitter.com/Xl8umePXEo
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) January 17, 2021

As a result of the injury, the Leafs have made quite a bit of transaction to reshuffle the deck. These include recalling Pierre Engvall to the taxi squad, placing Jason Spezza and Aaron Dell on waivers, and bringing up Mikko Lehtonen to make his NHL debut.
All stats unless …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Training Camp: Duszak added to the roster, Engvall replaces Kerfoot

With a key member of the Leafs sidelined with an injury, an opening made way for Joseph Duszak to be added to the training camp roster.

Defenceman Joseph Duszak has been added to the @MapleLeafs training camp roster. https://t.co/235jV0lsYK
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 6, 2021

The 23-year-old defenceman has been part of the Leafs organization since the 2018-19 season where he’s been spending his time developing in the minors. Duszak split the past year between the Newfoundland Growlers and Toronto Marlies where he recorded 35 points in 34 ECHL games along with 18 points in 23 AHL games.
He wasn’t listed in TLN’s prospect rankings but remains an intriguing option for the blueline as either a fringe player or a piece in a trade. His chances of making the Leafs roster this season are extremely slim, but perhaps he can try and impress the coaching staff enough to reassure them that his development is going well.
Kerfoot out, Engvall in
@Alexander Kerfoot remains out of commission for the time being, meaning Pierre Engvall has been moved to the NHL group for the first scrimmage session that will take place this afternoon. 
 

We’ve got ourselves a scrimmage pic.twitter. …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Espinal, Drury, and Panik will split time at short in Bo Bichette’s absence

Navigating Bo Bichette’s injury obviously isn’t going to be easy for the Blue Jays.

Bichette, as of right now, is the team’s best player, and, just as he was starting to really get heated up at the plate, the team’s offence finally broke out largely because of him.
Charlie Montoyo spoke on Monday about how he’s going to handle the shortstop position in Bo’s absence, suggesting that he’ll roll with a combination of Brandon Drury, Joe Panik, and Santiago Espinal at the position.

Charlie Montoyo on what happens next with the #BlueJays shortstop position: pic.twitter.com/SQyX4BjLU2
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) August 17, 2020

There isn’t really anybody down at the Alternate Training Site who can step in and fill Bo’s shoes. I mean, I’m sure we’d all love to see a top prospect like Jordan Groshans or Austin Martin get a crack to see what they can do in this weirdo season, but there’s obviously no way the Blue Jays will start either top prospect’s service time right now.
Apparently, they’re …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Jordan Romano stands to capitalize from Rafael Dolis’ misfortune

One guy’s injury is another’s opportunity.

Earlier in the week, Rafael Dolis underwent a procedure to have his appendix removed. He’ll be out of action for a week and then the Blue Jays will re-assess him after that. Apparently, the timeline for recovery is anywhere between three to six weeks.
This is obviously really unfortunate for Dolis, a pitcher looking to make it back to the Major Leagues after spending four seasons in Japan. Given the fact Opening Day is just two-and-a-half weeks away (!!!), it seems very unlikely Dolis will be ready to travel north with the team. Of course, this isn’t going to be some season-altering thing for Dolis. It’s a misstep, but he’ll still surely play a big role on the team this year.
As of right now, the entire bullpen is up in the air save for Ken Giles, who, barring injury, will be the team’s closer. Dolis was one of the names who was expected to be tired out in a set-up role in the later innings, so we can scratch that name off the list for now. Again, really tough break …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation