No, you didn’t have a bad dream last night, but I can see why you would think so. You woke up on a Saturday morning and thought you had dreamed the Leafs lost horribly to the Ottawa Senators on Hockey Night in Canada, but how could that be real? Hockey Night in Canada is only on Saturday, and the Ottawa Senators are ranked 21 spots beneath the Leafs in the league standings.
Well it’s true. It all did happen Friday night. Here’s our goal recap of the game broadcast on the new “Friday Edition” of HNIC:
It was only after the game that the real bad news dropped: we found out why Ilya Samsonov was the surprise starter last night, playing his fifth game in a row; Matt Murray is injured. Again.
But this time, it’s a secret mystery injury!
Sheldon Keefe says Matt Murray was “dealing with something that flared that’s been bothering him for a while and that’s why he couldn’t play.”— David Alter (@dalter) January 28, 2023
Wouldn’t say what the injury is other than it wasn’t the adductor and it wasn’t new tonight.@BodogCA @RinkWideTOR
So it’s not a new injury, and it’s not the same injury that caused him to miss a few weeks earlier this season. So what injury is it? No one outside the organisation appears to know this detail. At least not yet.
This is potentially nothing, or potentially a disaster. Just the kind of high-variance risk-return ratio we have all come to expect from this team’s goalies, eh?
What we do know is the Leafs play their next game tomorrow (yes, Sunday, not tonight,) hosting the Washington Capitals. Whatever is going on with Murray we should get a clue how bad it is today from the Marlies. They are over in Winnipeg playing the Manitoba Moose and won 2-1 last night with Joseph Woll in net to get his 12th win in 13 starts now.
If Murray is actually going to be out for even one game, they will probably call back Woll to Toronto today. And all of this is on top of Auston Matthews out a few weeks with his injury.
The All-Star Break and the “bye-week” can’t come soon enough so this team can heal and rest up.
The NHL trade deadline is on March 3, but our intrepid Maple Leafs General Manager is already out there looking at the goods available in the market.
Notable attendees at tonight’s #Canucks game— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) January 28, 2023
Leafs GM, Kyle Dubas
Leafs director of player personnel, Scott Morrison
Minnesota Wild senior advisor, Ray Shero
Oilers AGM, Brad Holland
Scouts from COL, WPG, OTT that we don’t normally see also in attendance
Things are definitely not going well for the Canucks, so they are a prime target to unload players at the deadline. Now some questions are emerging about the competence of their staff as several players appear to have had injuries far worse than initially thought. The latest is ex-Leaf Ilya Mikheyev.
VCR GM Patrik Allvin announces Ilya Mikheyev is being shut down, needs ACL surgery. Played with injury suffered in preseason— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 28, 2023
Leafs prospects were in action in NCAA and the WHL with notably more success than the Leafs themselves had last night. First up is Matthew Knies for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
#LeafsForever prospect Matthew Knies finishes off a nifty passing sequence, his 16th goal and 28th point in 27 games.pic.twitter.com/PdegvGJelh— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) January 28, 2023
And here’s Fraser Minten for the Kamloops Blazers
#LeafsForever prospect Fraser Minten crashes the net and gets rewarded with his second goal of the game. He has 22 goals and 44 points in just 33 games. Unfortunately it was a PP goal so his 5v5 point streak is over. pic.twitter.com/uQDA1xjuIO— More like Nikita GREATbyonkin (@brigstew86) January 28, 2023
A Q&A with Hayley Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic gold medallist, medical doctor and all-around overachiever - Toronto Life
She has a few things to say about failure, women in sports and hockey’s major sexism problem.
Lifelong Leafs fan fulfils dream of seeing first game, passes away next day - CP24
Mike Davy always dreamed of going to a Leafs game, and once it finally happened, he passed away the night after. [SPECIES: I'm glad it wasn't last night's game he went to see.]
And for the jersey design critics out there, here are the specials the Washington Capitals will use for their game against the Carolina Hurricanes at their upcoming outdoor Stadium Series game.
Revealed overnight are the Capitals Stadium Series (h/t @Mike_Callow): pic.twitter.com/JMhe35xZT0— Ted Starkey (@TedStarkey) January 26, 2023
I’ve found there’s always a few people who have never noticed that the white-space at the bottom of that eagle logo they use is the shape of the dome on the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., and the triangular blue section above it leading to the neck of the eagle is the shape of the peak on the Washington Monument.