Sunday’s practice in Toronto seemed like old times as both of the Toronto Maple Leafs injured goaltenders, Frederik Andersen (groin/illness) and Garret Sparks (concussion) could be found on the ice. The team had already sent Kasimir Kaskisuo back to the Toronto Marlies in the AHL and Michael Hutchinson was seen after practice working on his own.
TSN’s Mark Masters reports that Andersen said he feels fine and is ready to return. However, Toronto head coach Mike Babcock said that he had to refer to the staff before naming a starter for Monday’s game against Colorado. Andersen hasn’t appeared in a game since Dec. 22. Andersen has been the team’s rock in goal as he has a 2.50 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 30 games this season.
Masters adds that Sparks said he’s been medically cleared to return to the team and it’s now up to the staff to determine whether he can return to the roster on Monday. Toronto has to be hopeful that both goaltenders can take over some of the workload as Hutchinson has now played in nine games this season. If he reaches 10 games, the team will have to pass him through waivers when both their goalies are healthy and there is a likelihood the team could lose another goaltender there. The team already lost both Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard to waivers at the beginning of the year.
- The Department of Player Safety announced that they have fined Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev $2,403.67, the maximum fine allowable by the CBA, for cross checking Buffalo Sabres forward Johan Larsson Saturday. The incident occurred at 13:24 of the third period and Sergachev received a double-minor penalty on the play. Despite the fine, the 20-year-old has seen an improvement from the offensive end as he has a goal and four assists in his last five games with a plus-two rating. Despite the fact that many feel that Sergachev has taken a step back this season, he has actually increased his ATOI from 15:22 last season to 17:44 this season.
- While it’s vague, Ottawa Senators head coach Guy Boucher responded positively when asked about the injury status of second-year defenseman Thomas Chabot, saying that “Chabot is doing terrific,” according to Ottawa Sun’s Ken Warren. Chabot has been out since Dec. 28th after taking a hit from New York Islanders’ Matt Martin with an upper body injury and was deemed to be out “long-term.” While the update gives no projection on when he’ll be back, the team has been crippled without him as he has developed into the team’s No. 1 defenseman after the team traded away Erik Karlsson. Chabot was averaging a point a game so far this year with 10 goals and 28 assists in 38 games.