Morgan Rielly was hurt in yesterday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. He took an awkward looking fall into the boards and then tried to play a shift after, but it was no-go. He was last seen limping off to the dressing room.
Today at an optional practice, Frank Corrado skated with the usual scratches and then it was announced he would be playing tomorrow versus the Rangers.
Rielly is listed as day-to-day, but days have a way of stringing together into weeks. As of now, it isn’t clear what the likely time frame is for his return.
Babcock said he had no idea if Rielly would be back by the weekend— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 18, 2017
Bringing in a right-shooting defender for an injured lefty seems to be the only viable option at the moment. Rinat Valiev and Viktor Loov have missed the last two Marlies games for undisclosed reasons, and defender Willie Corrin has been called back to the Marlies from the ECHL.
Mike Babcock relied heavily on Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev after the injury to Rielly. How you slot Corrado into a lineup where Connor Carrick is already struggling unless he’s on the ice with Gardiner and Roman Polak is what he is isn’t clear.
However it is arranged, It is not going to be the best set of defenders the Leafs have put out this year, but it will be opportunities for several players to step up and fill the void.