Remember the good old days, when everyone was marvelling at how consistently healthy the Leafs were? It wouldn’t be unreasonable for some to believe the ever-competitive Leafs GM Kyle Dubas exploited another market inefficiency and invested in the NHL’s first Team Shaman, but in reality the Leafs’ injury fortunes were likely the result of a combination of luck, the team’s revered Sports Science & Performance division, and the team’s low-contact style of play. The numbers bear out this last point: Leafs have the third-lowest road hits-per-game since 2016-17 (road stats used here because some home arenas, like Scotiabank Arena, can sometimes be a little overzealous with their counting). Deep down Leafs fans knew that the Hockey Gods would rebalance the scales with a plague of injuries at some point. Enter the 2019-20 season, one of the most tumultuous this franchise has seen in over a decade, both due to off-ice distractions and on-ice performance issues.
The damage was early and often:
Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott missed the first 19 and 14 games of the season respectively following offseason surgeries.
John Tavares missed seven games with a broken finger, and it took months …
Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation