Cody Ceci out for a while with an ankle injury, Dubas says.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 6, 2020
Cody Ceci Injures Ankle
Ceci injured his ankle during the third period of last night’s game against the New York Rangers. Following the injury, he left the game and did not return. According to Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas, the team will place Ceci on injured reserve.
This season, Ceci has scored one goal and seven assists in 54 games with the Maple Leafs. He has also added 20 penalty minutes and a +- of 8. His possession numbers are slightly below average. He has a Corsi For Percentage (CF%) of 49.8 and a relative Corsi of -3.8. This indicates that the Leafs possess the puck slightly less than half the time when he is on the ice, and surrender significantly more shots to the other team. Ceci began the season paired with Morgan Rielly. More recently, he was often found playing with Rasmus Sandin.
What This Means for the Future
The Leafs are already thin at right defense, even with a healthy Ceci. Currently, he is one of three right defensemen on the roster, along with Tyson Barrie and Justin Holl. Ceci’s injury means that in the short term, the Leafs will have difficulty finding bodies to play defense.
Ceci’s injury may also have some impact on Dubas’ trade deadline strategy. It is no secret the Maple Leafs are in the market for a defenseman. Injuries to Rielly and Ceci add urgency to the Leafs’ defensive needs. This is particularly true when one considers the team’s season long struggles at keeping the puck out of their own net.
At the moment, the Leafs are one point behind the Florida Panthers for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers have two games in hand. Going forward, all eyes will be on Dubas. With the team’s defensive struggles, and injuries to Rielly and Ceci, the Leafs’ dam is leaking. It is up to Dubas to plug the holes.
TORONTO,ON – JANUARY 8: Cody Ceci #83 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Winnipeg Jets during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on January 8, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Jets defeated the Maple Leafs 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)