The Toronto Maple Leaf’s announced that defenseman Jake Muzzin will be out the next three weeks with a lower body injury. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet first reported the news on Monday.
Rasmus Sandin replaces Jake Muzzin for Game 7.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 31, 2021
Jake Muzzin Injured
Muzzin was injured mid-stride while skating after the puck in Game 6 of the Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens North Division semifinal.
The loss of Muzzin is a devastating and irreplaceable one for Toronto. Muzzin is the Leafs most well-rounded defenceman. Muzzin has recorded two goals and an assist in three games so far this post-season. This follows a productive 2020-21 regular season that saw Muzzin score four goals and 23 assists in 53 games. Over a full 82 game schedule, that would come out to approximately 41 points.
Of Toronto defencemen, Muzzin recorded the highest Corsi For per 60. His Expected Goals For was second to only Morgan Reilly. Muzzin was also a force defensively, recording the best Corsi Against per 60 and the best Expected Goals Against per 60 among Toronto blue liners. Advanced stats come from Evolving Hockey.
What it Means
An 11 year NHL veteran, Muzzin arrived to Toronto in 2019 from Los Angeles in exchange for a 2019 first round pick, Carl Grundström, and Sean Durzi‘s rights. Perhaps largely forgotten, Muzzin was originally a Pittsburgh fifth round draft pick in 2007. Muzzin failed to earn an entry level contract with the Penguins and once again entered the draft in 2009. After going undrafted in 2009, Muzzin returned to the OHL, won the leagues top defenceman award. He earned an entry-level contract with the Kings in 2010.
Muzzin has won two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings and been in the playoffs in seven of his 11 NHL seasons. Muzzin has registered 279 points in 632 games between LA and Toronto. His playoff experience and poise will be desperately missed by Toronto in their prime game 7 matchup against Montreal tonight.