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Morgan Rielly busts his foot blocking a shot

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How’s that go again? Repeating the same steps, expecting a different result? Right, hockey tactics, that’s what that is.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the summary of this season:

Marner: Busted foot

Johnsson: Busted something in the leg/foot

Kerfoot: Busted face

Tavares: It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten, but he hurt something

Muzzin: Busted foot

Moore: Ongoing concussion symptoms

Mikheyev: Cut wrist

And now Morgan Rielly has a busted foot and will miss two months or more. And some of those things are freak accidents, but sticking your ankle out to block shots is not an accident, and your number will come up if you do it.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide who exactly put Rielly in the position to be blocking that shot.

You’ll note that it happened in the first period. He left the bench, returned, and played the rest of the game.

No one on the Leafs leads the league in blocking shots, or comes close. That dubious honour goes to Oscar Klefbom at a rate of 7.86 per 60 minutes. The busiest blocker on the Leafs is Travis Dermott at 4.08 per 60 minutes, which is around 80th in the NHL. So the Leafs, for all they allow a lot of shots, aren’t a big blocking team. But it’s still playing russian roulette with your feet.

Rielly and Muzzin are three and four on the team behind Dermott and Cody Ceci, with Tyson Barrie right behind them. So our entire top four-ish set of defenders is out there sticking their foot (or other body part) out and hoping.

Maybe it’s time to ask if this is really a good risk/reward ratio.

In other news, there won’t be any trouble fitting Jake Muzzin’s cap hit in once he’s healthy. From his busted foot, in case we’ve forgotten. That he got blocking a shot. Rielly can be placed on LTIR retroactively to today at any time. Jake Muzzin cannot return to the lineup until after the bye week at the earliest. In the interim, we have Rasmus Sandin out of necessity.

Or we will until he busts his foot, that is.