The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Jake Muzzin for the next little while after the veteran defenseman suffered a broken bone in his last game. According to Kristen Shilton of TSN, Muzzin won’t play tonight for Toronto and will be wearing a full-face shield when he does eventually return. The Maple Leafs will also be without Zach Hyman and Joe Thornton this evening as both wingers are listed as day-to-day.
In Muzzin’s place, Travis Dermott will be elevated to the second pair, an interesting assignment given how little the young defenseman has actually played this season. Despite suiting up in 15 games, Dermott has averaged just over 11 minutes a night, seeing no powerplay or penalty kill time. With rumors swirling about the Maple Leafs’ apparent interest in acquiring another top-six winger, Dermott’s name has come up in trade speculation. The 24-year-old will be an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent this summer and has an opportunity now to really show what he is capable of.
- The St. Louis Blues will have Sammy Blais available to them tonight after he was previously placed on the COVID Protocol list. Blues head coach Craig Berube confirmed that it was a false positive that led to Blais’ placement there and he will be eligible to return this evening. The 24-year-old forward is expected to play on the second line alongside Brayden Schenn and Mike Hoffman. That’s quite the step up for Blais, who has just ten goals and 23 points in his 91-game NHL career. Jaden Schwartz and Colton Parayko will not dress as they continue to deal with injury.
- Hard to find a more dynamic trio than Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and David Pastrnak. Those are your NHL Three Stars of the week, with Matthews taking the top spot following his seven-goal output. The Maple Leafs forward leads the entire league in goals with 18 through his first 18 games this season, six ahead of McDavid and Brock Boeser who are tied for second. Pastrnak meanwhile has nine in his first nine games after starting the year on injured reserve, including a hat trick in last night’s Lake Tahoe game.