The Toronto Maple Leafs, while still remaining competitive with a tough schedule, have faced significant injury setbacks over the past few weeks. A mass of updates came today during a press conference with head coach Sheldon Keefe, where he revealed that forward Michael Bunting will miss the final two games of the regular season, defenseman Rasmus Sandin is likely to return for the team’s finale on Friday versus the Boston Bruins, and forward Ondrej Kase remains day-to-day with no timeline to return.
As the Maple Leafs prepare for a likely impending First Round matchup with the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, this is mostly positive news. The language surrounding Bunting’s injury wasn’t initially positive after he fell awkwardly during an April 23 game against Florida, but his prognosis has improved since then and it looks like a possibility that he could be ready for the beginning of the series. Sandin has missed over a month with a knee injury, while Kase has missed the same duration with a concussion.
- There are some more updates on various players on a Stanley Cup contender, as the Colorado Avalanche deal with some injury issues of their own. Head coach Jared Bednar spoke to reporters today, saying that defenseman Devon Toews will return to the lineup tonight after dealing with an undisclosed injury, forward Mikko Rantanen is working toward a return on Thursday against the Nashville Predators, and captain Gabriel Landeskog won’t return until the postseason. Toews has missed just around a week and a half, but his absence cannot be understated, as he continues to be one of the most underrated defensemen in the league with 57 points in just 64 games this year (while averaging over 25 minutes per game). Meanwhile, the Colorado captain has been out since early March with a leg injury.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that both captain Boone Jenner and Sean Kuraly will miss the short remainder of the season with respective injuries. Kuraly, in his first season with Columbus, suffered a foot injury last Sunday and will miss the remaining three games. Jenner will have missed the last month and a half of the season with a back injury.