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GDT: Andreas Johnsson activated off injured reserve ahead of Game 5

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Could AJ be in the game day...starting lineup

Columbus Blue Jackets v Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 21: Andreas Johnsson #18 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks for a shot to tip at Joonas Korpisalo #70 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on October 21, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets “@” Toronto Maple Leafs
Whichever team wins plays Tampa Bay
8:00 PM ET
Watch: Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NBCSN, FS-O
Opponents SB Nation: Jackets Cannon

Here’s our preview of tonight’s elimination game.

First reported by Chris Johnston, Andreas Johnsson has been activated off the injured reserve and could make his return to the lineup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johnsson has been out since February after undergoing knee surgery. It’s been seven months since he last played a game and his return could be tonight in a win or go home Game 5 against the Blue Jackets.

The 25-year-old left winger played in 43 games this season, notching eight goals and 21 points, a 40-point pace, which is impressive considering many believe Johnsson to have had a down/bad year. He was also Sheldon Keefe and Kyle Dubas’ Calder Cup MVP in 2018 when the Toronto Marlies won the championship.

If ready, Johnsson would be an instant boost for the Leafs in the top-six on the left side, potentially pushing one of Ilya Mikheyev, Nick Robertson, or Kyle Clifford out of the lineup entirely — none of whom deserve to be punted on merit.

He’s been practicing with the team for the better part of a month, but hasn’t played a game in a while. Most likely he doesn’t play tonight and just takes the pre-game skate and we’ll hopefully see him at puck drop against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. That said, it would be really cool to see his return.

Poll

Does Andreas Johnsson play tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Yes, top-six, baby!
    (26 votes)
  • 31%
    Yes, but in a limited role
    (47 votes)
  • 38%
    No, stick with this lineup
    (57 votes)
  • 12%
    Can we trade him last minute for David Savard?
    (18 votes)
148 votes total Vote Now

And just to get the blood pumping, a proper pbp call...