Thursday, April 18, 2024
Home Road Trip Multiple Toronto Maple Leafs Players Not Going on Road Trip

Multiple Toronto Maple Leafs Players Not Going on Road Trip

by Staff

The Toronto Maple Leafs are about to start a road trip with two games in two nights starting Tuesday as they return to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers in Pennsylvania for the second time in under a week.

During the Toronto Maple Leafs morning skate on Monday their was some noticable abscenes from practice.

The main player missing was superstar right winger Mitch Marner who has not played since March 7 when he scored the lone goal in a 4-1 loss the Boston Bruins.

Marner has been struggling with a high ankle sprain and has not skated with the team since his injury which is believed to have occurred during that game.

Not having Marner in the line-up has been very noticeable as both the penalty kill and powerplay has been abysmal since his departure from the units. After having a success rate of 50% through February, the powerplay has been going at under five percent through March. The penalty kill has also been struggling as the Maple Leafs have given up a goal while being a man down in each game since Marner has been out of the line-up, including two on Saturday.

Keefe has decided to put Tyler Bertuzzi and Pontus Holmberg back on the wings with Auston Matthews. The trio was the only line that was unable to find the back of the net on Saturday night against the Caroline Hurricanes. You have to wonder what the thought process for that trio is, as neither winger are known for their playmaking skills which is the type of player you’d want with the league’s top goal scorer.

Recent re-acquisition Ilya Lyubushkin was also absent from Monday’s practice and Mark Masters reported that the Russian defenseman is battling an illness, and would not travel with the team on the upcoming road trip.

Lyubushkin had been paired with Morgan Rielly since re-joining the organization and now with his removal from the line-up, Rielly will be paired with long time partner TJ Brodie. The former Calgary Flame is in the midst of his worst season and is showing that he is at best a seventh defenseman, however, coach Sheldon Keefe will not take him out of the line-up.

Simon Benoit who was the victim of the recent trade deadline acquisitions will draw back into the line-up. He will be paird again with Jake McCabe on Philadelphia and see if they can continue their strong play together as they have been the most steady partnership this year for the club.

The Maple Leafs also moved Calle Järnkrok to the long term injured reserve which means he is not eligible to play until April 6 in Montreal.

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