The Maple Leafs were at practice today ahead of their trip to Edmonton to play tomorrow. There’s good and bad news about injuries as well as uncertainty about who is actually ready to play. The only person definitely not nearly ready is Wayne Simmonds. All of the following is courtesy of all of the reporters who Tweet out practice doings:
Frederik Andersen worked with the coaches, but did not participate in practice. Jack Campbell did, and stayed in his net for the full time, rather than sharing with Joe Woll. Michael Hutchinson was in the other net.
Jack Campbell was said this week to be nearly ready, so I think we can expect to see him start soon. Andersen’s timeline is a mystery.
Jake Muzzin is back!
From the experience of watching other players with similar injuries in the past, once they stick their heads in the fishbowl for a practice, they’re back in the game.
Leafs centre Auston Matthews (hand) will not practice today and is listed as day-to-day.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 26, 2021
You know you’re the centre of the universe when you have to make this into a formal announcement. Darren Dreger reported this last night during the Jets-Canadiens game, and he also said that the Leafs have been adjusting Matthews’ usage and power play position to avoid the one-timer during this injury.
This does not mean Matthews won’t play tomorrow, but it also doesn’t mean he will, but the resulting lines used today seem to lean toward not playing. Usually when someone is just missing a practice, they get a placeholder.
#Leafs start practice with some 3-on-3; these were the lines:— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 26, 2021
SRS: Galchenyuk, Sabourin
#Leafs power play units at practice:— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 26, 2021
Is Jimmy Vesey really the odd man out? Is Thornton really ready to return? Will they really run a top unit without a fourth liner on it? These questions and more will be answered tomorrow, likely at game time, but we’ll try for the preview.