Jake Muzzin Injury Update: Why isn’t the Maple Leafs defenseman playing Game 7 against the Canadiens?
The Maple Leafs will be without Jake Muzzin for the foreseeable future. Head coach Sheldon Keefe has announced that the tough veteran defenseman will miss three weeks with a lower body injury.
“It looks like we’ll have to go on without him,” Keefe said.
Muzzin left Game 6 against the Canadiens midway through the second period and did not return. Based on the video shown on the telecast, he was skating at full stride and may have pulled a groin.
Now the question is: how long will the impact of his loss be felt with Game 7 on Monday night?
“Muzz is just a huge leader for us in general,” said Jason Spezza after practice Monday morning. “A very competitive guy, a guy who brings that every night, all season. Loves the game and is passionate about it. He’s a guy who is obviously a big hunk for us but it looks like we’re going to have to do without. him. here potentially for a little bit. “
In Game 7, his loss left a huge void on the Maple Leafs’ blue line. Muzzin had three points (two goals, assists) in the first six games. In Game 5, he single-handedly led Toronto’s return with two goals, including the tie in the third period.
A tough defender and minute eater, he averaged over 21 minutes of ice time during the regular season. He leads all defenders in hits (16) and playing players who have played all six games are second to Zach Bogosian, who is expected to see a rise in his minutes now, in blocked shots / 60 minutes (5.64) . Muzzin is also one of the top penalty killers for Toronto, entering Game 7 with a league-best 88.9% efficiency. Game six was the team’s first power-play goals – and both came after Muzzin left the game.
According to Keefe, Rasmus Sandin will be part of the roster. The youngster struggled in Game 5 and was on the ice for Montreal’s first and third goals in the first period. He only had three shifts in the second period and one in the third in an overtime loss for the Maple Leafs. Sandin was scratched for Game 6 with Travis Dermott taking his place.