When Kyle Dubas acquired Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings in January of 2019 it changed the makeup of not only the Leafs’ blue line, but their entire roster. Muzzin immediately added some nastiness and championship experience to a Leafs team that was short on both, becoming a stabilizing presence on the way to another hard fought playoff series against Boston.
Entering his first full season as a Leaf, Muzzin was slotted in for duty alongside newly acquired Tyson Barrie on a revamped Toronto defensive unit but much like the rest of the team, the pairing struggled to begin the season. Justin Holl eventually took Barrie’s place forming an effective shutdown duo with Muzzin as the Leafs began to turn their season around with Sheldon Keefe at the helm. With Barrie taking a while to adjust to his new surroundings and the pairing of Rielly and Ceci struggling against top competition, Muzzin was the Leafs’ most reliable defenceman for the early part of the season until injury struck at the end of December. He would return after missing a month with a foot injury only to get hurt again 15 games later and was on the injured …
Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation