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Shanny, Treliving, and Pelley Had a Toronto Maple Leafs Press Conference

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A day after their head coach, Sheldon Keefe, was let go, the management brass decided to have a press conference. President Brendan Shanahan, General Manager Brad Treliving, and Maple Leaf Sport & Entertainment CEO Keith Pelley addressed the media on Friday. Nothing was off limits for reporters, however, details were scanty on certain issues.

For example, there was no update on specific targets for the role of Toronto Maple Leafs head coach, other than Treliving saying they are working on the process. It is fair given the timeline, of only making this decision to fire Keefe based on being eliminated Saturday night against the Boston Bruins. However, what we want to touch on, was Treliving’s references to Leafs injuries that impacted their 2024 NHL Stanley Cup playoff outcomes. It is a bit of bad luck, that only in Game 4, did three of the Leafs top names, play in the lineup together. William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and Joseph Woll all played in Game 4, but Matthews got injured, and Woll only came on in relief of Ilya Samsonov.

The Bad Luck of Leafs Injuries Discussed in Press Conference

The first significant one to talk about of the Leafs injuries in the 2024 first round series against the Bruins, was to William Nylander. The main shocking aspect of this injury to the lineup and fans alike, was Nylander’s remarkable health throughout his career. Case in point, a total of six of Nylander’s eight full seasons in the NHL, he had missed two or fewer regular season games. That includes this year where he played a full 82-game slate recording 98 points.

In the press conference, Treliving referred to Nylander’s injury, and confirmed that he was having severe migraines. Also, that given the nature of the issue, he was having to be considered as a concussion case. Therefore, we can only imagine that it was a complex issue to get him cleared to return to action.

However, the big blow to the Leafs lineup, was starting off the series without their second best scorer from the regular season. Treliving kept referring to the lack of scoring in the playoffs, which hadn’t been a problem all season long. Treliving said: “Didn’t score enough goals, and special teams,” when referring to the team’s main reasons for failure. Also, in the sense that this was the complete opposite from the regular season. This was further exacerbated by the problem, missing Willy from the lineup. Not to mention the further bad luck of running into a goalie on a heater. Jeremy Swayman had a stretch of seven games in this year’s playoffs allowing two or less.

The Impact of the High Profile Leafs Injuries to End 2024

Okay, skip ahead to game four of the Boston series, and what? Nylander and Matthews are good to go for the first time in the series. Now with Nylander back, Matthews takes a hard hit in the second period and is forced to leave. Treliving recapped all the details of the Matthews’ injury timeline and here we provide just a paraphrased version of his points. First of all, it was game two and Matthews got quite sick, so they assumed food poisoning. As the effects lingered, it seemed more like a virus, regardless, Matthews stayed in the lineup. After taking the hit, his symptoms shifted to the concussion-spectrum, and he had to be ruled out-of-action. Finally, he was cleared to skate for game seven.

The News on Joseph Woll

Next, was on the injury update for Joseph Woll. It was called a SI-Joint injury, as Treliving explained “a sprained back at the completion of game six which made him unavailable for game seven.” Seems like bad luck. It was interesting phrase for Treliving to add in describing Woll. He was referring to him as being prone to injury “the biggest question with joe is he’s gotten injured a lot.” He then went on to offer possible remedies, like a change to training or routine for example.

In any case, the Leafs not having him for game seven was very impactful on the outcome of the series. Many people doubt that due to the tight-nature of that game seven battle, if whether the game itself would’ve played out differently. Was not having Woll in the Leafs net a physical deterrent to a more favourable Leafs outcome? You’d be hard-pressed not to think it weighs on everyone mentally in preparing for such a high intensity tilt. It does not appear that a timeline is provided on Woll’s injury timeline.

More Injury News and Notes from the Leafs Press Conference

Another injury update we will touch on was for Connor Dewar. Dewar requires surgery to his injured shoulder which was happening today. Moreover, Treliving added the “we anticipate that he’ll be back for training camp.”

The last injury update from today’s Leafs press conference was on Bobby McMann. The update was that he has an MCL sprain. But added that his timeline had him tracking to be available some point during the second round.

Main photo credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports


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