Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Foligno will miss Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night due to a lower-body injury, the team announced moments before puck drop.
Maple Leafs forward Nick Foligno (lower body) will not play tonight.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 24, 2021
Foligno missed the Maple Leafs morning skate Monday. But when Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was asked for an update he told Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun that Foligno would play in tonight’s game.
As reported by Chris Johnston, Riley Nash will draw in for the injured Foligno for Game 3.
Toronto Maple Leafs Nick Foligno will Miss Game 3
What this means for the Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs are now down two of their top six players in Foligno and John Tavares. Tavares was hurt in the first game of the series as a result of a freak accident that saw him leave the ice on a stretcher.
Foligno drawing out of the game means the Maple Leafs lose another veteran presence on the ice and bench as they look to take a lead in the first-round series. Although he had not significantly contributed through the first two games, Foligno had provided a veteran presence on the ice that the Maple Leafs will miss.
The 33-year-old Toronto native was moved to the second line for Game 2, taking the spot of the injured Tavares. It has not been confirmed by the team. But the belief is that Riley Nash will take Foligno’s place on the second line.
Maple Leafs Facing Injury Problems Yet Again
It is often a foregone conclusion that teams will face injury issues in the playoffs. But for the second straight year, the Maple Leafs are getting bit hard by the injury bug.
Besides the freak incident that led to Tavares’ extremely serious injury, Foligno’s nagging injury brings its own concerns. The expectation was that he would dress for tonight’s game when the rug was ripped out on that minutes before the puck dropped. With this only being game three of the first round, a nagging injury could further limit Foligno’s ability to play or produce if the Maple Leafs make it further in the playoffs.
If the Maple Leafs are going to make it far in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will need the guys who come in relief for their injured core to perform at a high level.
In last year’s playoffs, defensemen Jake Muzzin suffered his own freak injury as he missed the last three games of the Maple Leafs qualifying round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from playoff contention in the fifth game of the five-game series.