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INJURES TO MUZZIN, HYMAN AND THORNTON ALLOW LEAFS TO EXERCISE THEIR QUALITY DEPTH OPTIONS

Feb 22, 2021 à 12h20      MIKE ARMENTI
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a banged up crew coming into Monday's matchup against a very hungry Calgary Flames team who have just 1 win in their last 5 games.

On top of the news that defenseman Jake Muzzin would be sidelined for an unspecified amount of time with a broken bone in his face, the Leafs announced on Monday that Joe Thornton and Zach Hyman would also miss Monday's game with undisclosed injuries.

There is heavy speculation that Hyman's issue is related to his foot, after blocking a hard point shot on Saturday night against the Habs and looking like he was in some serious discomfort.

As with anything, perception is everything and perhaps the Leafs shouldn't be looking at being down a few key players, but rather being in a position where they can provide opportunities to some of their other depth players to ascend in the lineup and have some members of their taxi squad to join the action.

Quality depth is not something the Leafs have had an abundance of in recent memory, but with names like Nic Petan, Alexander Barabanov, Alex Galchenyuk, Timothy Liljegren, Mikko Lehtonen, Joey Anderson and Nick Robertson all ready and waiting for NHL action, the Leafs are definitely not hard-up for talent to fill the open spots left by injury.

As far as Monday evening's match-up against the Flames goes, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has confirmed that Lehtonen, Petan and Barabanov will draw in, though he would not commit to naming the player who has the lucky lottery ticket and will ascend to play alongside the red hot Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

If the injuries to Hyman and Thornton are of a lingering nature, perhaps we'll get our first glimpse of former 3rd-overall pick Alex Galchenyuk in the Maple Leafs' lineup as soon as this week.



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