The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without defenceman Jake Muzzin for the remainder of the series after sustaining an injury late in Game 2 of the qualifying-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He will remain in quarantine inside the hotel and will join his teammates upon recovery.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 5, 2020
Jake Muzzin Out for the Leafs
Muzzin was taken off on a stretcher after colliding awkwardly with Blue Jackets for Oliver Bjorkstrand. After receiving a cross-check from Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, Muzzin struggled to keep his balance before finally losing his footing and going headfirst into Bjorkstrand’s leg. After a failed attempt to stand up, the trainer helped Muzzin lay down and immediately called for the stretcher. However, he was able to move his arms and legs which is a good sign for Muzzin and the Leafs.
In 53 regular-season games this season, Muzzin scored six goals and added 17 assists for 23 points. He had yet to register a point in the two qualifying-round games.
Huge Loss for the Leafs
The tricky part of this injury is that Muzzin had to go to the hospital. Muzzin will need to quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was reported in a tweet from Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston that it will be up to the medical officials to make the call as to how long Muzzin will have to quarantine if and when he is ready to return to action.
Losing Muzzin for any period of time is a massive hit the Leafs blueline. Muzzin is a rock on the back end. He is a minute-eater on the point and is a leader on and off the ice for the Leafs. He also one of just two Stanley Cup winners on the roster along with Kyle Clifford who also played with Muzzin during their 2014 Stanley Cup Win.
With Muzzin out, the Leafs will most likely turn to Rasmus Sandin to fill the gaping hole left behind on the left side. Sandin split time between the Leafs and the Toronto Marlies of the AHL this season. In 28 games with the big club, Sandin recorded one goal and seven assists for eight points. While there’s not a player on the roster who can replace what Muzzin brings to the table, we will most likely see the Leafs lean a little more on Morgan Rielly, while splitting the leftover minutes between Travis Dermott and Sandin.
The next game will be held on Thursday, August 6th. The two teams enter Game 3 with the series tied at one game apiece.