Zach Hyman has never been fully appreciated by Toronto fans over the years, but the forward, who has sat out all season so far after undergoing offseason knee surgery this summer, has been strangely missed as the Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled out of the gate.
A favorite of head coach Mike Babcock due to his work ethic and attitude, Hyman is close to returning with many believing he might be ready to return this weekend. That hasn’t happened, but the winger believes he’ll be ready soon, according to The Star’s Kevin McGran. Hyman is traveling with the team, but there is no word on when he might be activated.
“Honestly, it’s not my decision,” he says. “I mean, I have a say in it, but we have a great medical staff, great therapists, great strength coaches, great doctors where you don’t make a decision by yourself.”
- Wells Dusenbury of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that despite the slow start of Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, head coach Joel Quenneville isn’t worried about the two-time Vezina Trophy winner. Bobrovsky, who signed a seven-year, $70MM contract this summer with Florida, hasn’t been too impressive in his first 11 appearances with the Panthers, posting a 5-2-3 record with a 3.71 GAA and a .873 save percentage, numbers that are second-to-last among goalies who have appeared in at least eight games. “I think the way we’re playing, he’s getting comfortable in how we play in front of him,” Quenneville said. “I think eventually the goals against is something we can improve as a group of defenseman in our team game. I think the second opportunities, whether we take more responsibility in that area, we can clean that up and help him.”
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun writes that while the Ottawa Senators brought in defenseman Ron Hainsey over from Toronto this summer in free agency to fill a veteran defensive void in their lineup, there was a secondary reason as well. The scribe writes that one major benefit of having Hainsey around is having him mentor top prospect Erik Brannstrom in his rookie campaign. Hainsey has been paired with Brannstrom since the first day of training camp and the two have stayed together almost exclusively. “There’s been a lot of information thrown at him in a short amount of time in the (six weeks) since we went to training camp to now,” Hainsey said before facing the Boston Bruins on Saturday night at TD Garden. “In some situations in the game, it’s easy, it’s like, ‘Hey, maybe we should try to do it this way.’ Other times, it’s better for me to be quiet and let him go about his way. He’s got plenty of people and coaches giving him stuff 24/7 and it’s a lot for a young player to take in when you’re playing against the best players in the world. It’s not like we’ve been matched against the top guys, but we’ve been out against everybody at some point.”