The Toronto Maple Leafs are fighting for a playoff spot. It’s an unusual situation for the young Leafs to be in, especially considering that many expected a bottom ten finish for the club this year. Their early success can be attributed directly to the rookies, many of whom are occupying important positions on the Leafs roster.
Buckle up and keep your eyes on the standings as the Buds try and make their way into the playoffs by season’s end.
Morgan Rielly Day-To-Day With Injury
It’s no secret that Morgan Rielly plays a huge role on the Leafs’ defense core. The former Moose Jaw Warrior, who was drafted fifth overall in 2012, is the Leafs’ leader in minutes played by a defenseman, logging around 22 minutes a game.
right before Rielly limped to the locker room…but he is back now so nevermind i guess 👀 pic.twitter.com/gQ10wrWhbg
— steph (@myregularface) January 18, 2017
Rielly was injured during Tuesday’s win over the Buffalo Sabres. A Sabre appeared to fall on his leg and Rielly was in a considerable amount of discomfort after. He left the game shortly after. The initial fear was that Rielly injured his knee and/or ACL, the same injury that forced him to have surgery and miss most of his draft year.
Morgan Rielly not on the ice for #Leafs practice. Doesn't look like he'll be ready for Saturday vs. Ottawa.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 20, 2017
With fans fearing the worst, it came as a welcome surprise that he was day-to-day with a leg injury. He missed the Leafs’ most recent game against the New York Rangers and his presence was missed, as the Leafs defense was outmatched and overworked for much of the night.
According to TSN’s Kristen Shilton, Rielly wasn’t on the ice for Leafs practice today, which puts his status for tomorrow’s game against the Ottawa Senators in jeopardy. Life without him is tough and the team hopes they will get their top-pairing defender back soon.
Seth Griffith Claimed Again
The Seth Griffith carousel continues. It all started when the Leafs claimed the young forward back in November. He was slotted into a grand total of three games, but scored no points and didn’t do anything noteworthy.
Such a busy time on Twitter. Seth Griffith waived by the Panthers, claimed by the Leafs, sent to the Marlies.
— Dave Hodge (@davehodge20) January 20, 2017
The Leafs brass decided to send him down to the Toronto Marlies. That move was interrupted by the Florida Panthers, who claimed the forward as their own. He played 21 games with the Panthers, collecting five assists and eight penalty minutes. He received some time on the top line, but didn’t make enough of an impression and was subsequently waived.
Enter the Maple Leafs. They claimed Griffith again and sent him straight to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Marlies who are in the midst of a losing season with a 15-19-2-1 record.
Part of the reason for their poor record is the fact that many of last year’s Marlies, such as William Nylander, Zach Hyman and Connor Brown, are all playing with the big club. They are also dealing with an injury to Kasperi Kapanen, their All-Star, who is having a great offensive season. Griffith will immediately help the Marlies, who are starved for offense at the moment.