The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost a big part of their defensive core as they gear up for a playoff run. Defenceman Rasmus Sandin is out with a knee injury, and it is believed to be serious. The expectation is he is out weeks, as opposed to days.
Sandin’s injury is believed to be his knee. Certainly not day-to-day.
— Bobby Margarita (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 21, 2022
Rasmus Sandin Out With Knee Injury
This season in particular, Sandin has been a consistently solid player for the Leafs. In 51 games he has 16 points (five goals and 11 assists), but what’s more important is his ice time. Racking up just shy of 17 minutes per game, Sandin was a top-four defenceman for the club. Maybe even more significant is his clean play: only four minutes in penalties this entire season. His advanced numbers are in the positives as well, a great sign for a defenceman who starts a majority of his faceoffs in the offensive zone. This is Sandin’s first real season as a full member of the Leafs, playing in more games than his previous two seasons combined.
How This Affects The Maple Leafs
Unfortunately, with Rasmus Sandin’s injury believed to be serious, the Leafs lose a lot of depth on their blue line. After acquiring former Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano, it was expected that Sandin would shift down to the third line. However, now that he is unavailable, the Leafs are stuck with the same depth issues. Players like Morgan Rielly and Timothy Liljegren will have to pick up even more minutes now than they already do.
In the playoffs, depth is everything. Especially on defence, when players are tired and possibly injured, having a solid six to rely on is key for any playoff success. For the Leafs, they hope Sandin will be back before the playoffs. Otherwise, their other defencemen will have to really step up in order to keep them afloat.