The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to get Zach Hyman back in the lineup tomorrow night against the New York Islanders, a welcome sight for a team struggling to find their identity this season. While the Maple Leafs have scored 64 goals this season, good for third in the NHL, they’ve also allowed 62. Hyman will bring an aspect of forechecking that has been sorely missing, while also giving them another prime penalty killing option. The 27-year old forward is coming off major knee surgery however, and may take some time getting up to speed. He scored 21 goals and 41 points last season but has yet to play in 2019-20.
More notes regarding the Maple Leafs:
- Hyman will start on a line with John Tavares and Kasperi Kapanen, thanks to the absence of Mitch Marner from the team for at least a month. Marner confirmed to reporters including Joshua Clipperton of the Canadian Press that he suffered a high-ankle sprain in Saturday’s game. The team had previously announced that he will be re-evaluated in four weeks, but high-ankle sprains are notorious for causing lingering issues for professional athletes.
- Meanwhile, the team is also trying to figure out their backup goaltending situation after waiving Michael Hutchinson yesterday. Head coach Mike Babcock explained to reporters including Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun that the team didn’t play well enough ahead of Hutchinson, but that the plan to start the backup in the second half of back-to-back situations will continue. That would suggest that Kasimir Kaskisuo will make his NHL debut this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, unless the team finds a different option before then.