The Toronto Maple Leafs are having a solid season, but that’s not because they’ve had an easy season. Quite the contrary, the Maple Leafs have the second most unfortunate record in the NHL with 282 man-games lost to injuries.
The Washington Capitals have the most unfortunate record. They have lost 301 man-games to injury.
For the Maple Leafs, having so many injuries might be a blessing in disguise. With so many players out and needing to be covered for, the Maple Leafs have had to rely on solid defence and systematic structures on offence. They’ve also had to develop depth in ways they’ve not had to before.
That the Maple Leafs are close to the top of the heap in the NHL is testimony to the team’s success this season – despite all the problems faced.
In this post, I’ll track the sick and injured list for the team. I won’t include Jake Muzzin in this list. As most Maple Leafs’ fans know, Muzzin is out until (at least) the end of February. There’s a good chance it will be longer.
Maple Leafs’ Injured List
Injured List #1: Nick Robertson (Bad News)
The team got some bad news today when it was announced that Nick Robertson has had another unfortunate break. It was decided that Robertson’s shoulder was not going to heal well with rest and rehab only. As a result, he underwent shoulder surgery. The prognosis is that he’ll require at least six months to recover.
That, sadly for Robertson, runs his healing timeline until and past the remainder of the season AND the postseason. Even if the Maple Leafs reach the Stanley Cup Final, Robertson won’t be able to join them on the ice (at least on skates).
The 21-year-old Robertson has had difficult season after difficult season. His last game played was on December 8, 2021. That’s bad news.
Injured List #2: Mac Hollowell (Bad News)
Joining Robertson in the operating room is Mac Hollowell. The young Toronto Marlies defenseman underwent surgery for a fractured kneecap. He’ll miss at least 12 weeks with his injury.
Missing games has to be disappointing for Hollowell. This season he made his NHL debut with the big club and played six games (registering two assists). With the Marlies, Hollowell had collected 13 assists in 18 AHL games. He didn’t look out of place on NHL ice.
His injury is bad news for the organization (and for him).
Injured List #3: T.J. Brodie (Good News)
On the good news side of the hospital hallway, defenseman TJ Brodie’s rib is getting better. Brodie hasn’t played for going on two weeks (not since January 7), but he might be returning soon. The most optimistic timing is Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Brodie’s prognosis was that he’d miss two weeks, which comes at the end of this current week. Brodie has scored two goals and added six assists (for eight points) in 28 games this regular season. That’s good news that Brodie might be back in the lineup soon.
Maple Leafs Sick List
Some kind of “bug” seems to be running thru the Maple Leafs locker room. A number of players have recently been diagnosed as ill. Here’s some good news and bad news from the team’s sick list.
Sick List #1: Rasmus Sandin (Bad News)
Rasmus Sandin missed yesterday’s practice with an unknown illness – which likely means he has the flu. Apparently, the Maple Leafs’ locker room has become a breeding ground for the virus. A number of players had been struck and had to miss time.
One wonders if that’s what might have been going on with Auston Matthews’ recent absence from the lineup. If Sandin can’t play tonight, look for Jordie Benn to fill in his spot. Good news for Benn, but bad news for Sandin if he’s unable to play.
Sick List #2: Bobby McMann (Bad News)
One of the Maple Leafs’ players who had missed a game looks as if he’s ready to return. Bobby McMann played two games with Toronto last week and would have had his first goal of his career if it had not been overturned.
McMann’s NHL debut came on November 11 against the Nashville Predators. He played on a line with David Kampf and Pierre Engvall in yesterday’s practice. It’s good news that he’ll be able to go searching again for his first NHL goal.