Campbell, Sandin, Marner & Rielly

The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Ottawa Senators tonight in each groups’ first recreation in weeks. Each groups have skilled prolonged layoffs on account of the influence of COVID-19 and the NHL protocols every needed to face. 

Associated: What Occurs if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Nick Robertson Is Actually Good?

In reality, though each groups are more likely to present rust within the recreation, the Senators are getting into with a little bit of a drawback. Whereas the Maple Leafs’ lineup is all however “common” – solely defenseman Timothy Liljegren stays on NHL COVID-19 protocols – the Senators simply had the crew’s first-line middle Josh Norris and former Maple Leafs’ Tyler Ennis – enter COVID-19 protocols simply earlier than apply on Friday. 

Timothy Liljegren, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

On this version of Maple Leafs’ Information & Rumors, I’ll check out a few of the information rising from the crew because it prepares to play the Senators later as we speak.

Merchandise One: Jack Campbell Will Get the Begin in Internet

Surprisingly, Jack Campbell by no means missed a begin in aim. Though he was on the COVID-19 NHL protocol checklist, the Maple Leafs by no means performed. On the season, Campbell has a report of 15-5-2, a goals-against-average of 1.94, and a save share of .937. His save share ranks first within the NHL. He’ll begin the sport in opposition to the Senators.

Associated: Hockey Royalty: The NHL’s Best Households

Over his final 5 video games, Campbell has a 3-1-1 report with a goals-against-average of two.97, and a save share of .909. His final recreation in opposition to the Senators was the sport when backup goalie Petr Mrazek was first injured, and Campbell jumped into the sport in a reduction position. He stopped all 10 of the Senators’ photographs on aim. 

Merchandise Two: Defenseman Rasmus Sandin Able to Return

Over the previous week, I used to be reminded what it have to be prefer to be an NHL participant. An article cited Rasmus Sandin as saying that, when he was capable of totally take part in his crew’s apply, his “complete physique was virtually shaking, I used to be so pleased to be again on the ice.” (from “Rasmus Sandin ‘virtually shaking’ with pleasure as he re-joins Maple Leafs blue line in apply,” Terry Koshan, Toronto Solar, 30/12/21).

Rasmus Sandin Toronto Maple Leafs
Rasmus Sandin, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Sandin suffered that knee damage on December 5 however was rehabbed and able to return. Nevertheless, his tussle with COVID-19 set him again. He’s now wholesome and able to play. The truth is, Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe commented that the 21-year-old Swede appeared good throughout apply. 

Merchandise Three: Mitch Marner Is Lastly Again within the Lineup Tonight

It’s been a very long time, however Mitch Marner will lastly be again within the Maple Leafs’ lineup later as we speak. It’s now been a month since Marner’s freak apply run-in with Jake Muzzin had resulted in his shoulder damage. 

Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs
Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Marner has been activated off the long-term injured reserve (LTIR) and can take his regular place on the crew’s first line with companions Auston Matthews and Michael Bunting. He’ll even be a part of the crew’s prime power-play unit. I search for Marner to get on a roll over the subsequent whereas. He’s presently lower than a point-a-game participant on the season, with solely six objectives and 15 assists (for 21 factors) in his 24 season’s video games. That received’t final.

Merchandise 4: No Positive Information About Morgan Rielly

Morgan Rielly was cleared to play from COVID-19 protocols, however I’ve no information whether or not he’s capable of play or not. I haven’t learn how the virus affected him. I did learn that John Tavares had suffered tough signs with a lack of vitality, however that Sandin was just about asymptomatic with none lack of vitality. 

Associated: 2022 NHL Draft Rankings: Forbes’ High 64 January Rankings

However I’ve learn no information about how Rielly has been feeling. It’s one factor to be cleared to play and one other to have the ability to play. The crew’s medical crew might need a big say within the lineup.

Merchandise 5: Line Mixtures for Tonight’s Sport

With a lot of the Maple Leafs’ gamers on its roster now, the road combos for yesterday’s apply had been tweeted by David Alter yesterday. Nick Ritchie appears to be the additional ahead, and there’s a query about how a lot he’ll play tonight.

#Leafs traces at apply Dec. 31/21
(Ritchie rotated)
D’Agostini (apply goalie)

What’s Subsequent for the Maple Leafs?

The sport as we speak may be attention-grabbing. How rusty will the gamers be? At the moment would be the Maple Leafs’ first recreation since December 14, after they beat the Oilers in Edmonton 5-1. It will likely be the Senators’ first recreation since December 18, after they misplaced to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in additional time.

Associated: Maple Leafs Made the Proper Transfer Going With Campbell Over Andersen

Though the Senators misplaced their final two video games, they’re 5-4-1 of their final 10 video games. These 10 video games embrace wins over the Carolina Hurricanes, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Florida Panthers. The Senators are an enhancing crew.