And thoughts about the second pair
Jake Muzzin has been the Man of the Month in Toronto.
He’s become a focal point of the Maple Leafs trade deadline planning, with fans in three camps: 1. bring in a better partner for Muzzin, 2. he may or may not play well next to Liljegren, that is still up for debate, and 3. trade him now because he’s old relative to 12th century European standards.
Beyond the whole Wall St. trading frenzy, Muzzin has also been out indefinitely while dealing with a concussion. At the time of the injury, there was no telling how long Muzzin could be out for; weeks, months, forever, who knew. As of yesterday, we have increased confidence that Muzzin will be back sooner than later.
After taking part in half of Monday’s practice, Muzzin was out on the ice for the full practice, wearing a red no-contact jersey. He was out there, having fun, keeping his legs fresh.
After participating in just half of practice yesterday, Jake Muzzin skates for the whole session. Another positive step toward a possible return at some point. pic.twitter.com/G5dgvRZQbj— David Alter (@dalter) January 25, 2022
There’s been a lot of speculation when it comes to Muzzin’s — whether he’s been injured most of the season and that’s why he’s playing below his abilities. Plenty of folks wonder if he should sit out a little longer and heal up anything that could potentially be nagging him.
While I can agree with that sentiment, a fair number of Muzzin’s troubles have been decision making mistakes in his own zone. Errand passes or clears, often leading to getting hemmed in their own zone. From what I can tell, he was moving around no problem before the injury. This is very eye-testy, but I think he shouldn’t stay out longer than he needs to and lose his game speed. I also think a better partner for him would relieve so much stress from the shoulders of Muzzin, the first pair, the coaching staff, the medical team, Kyle Dubas, and us.
You know who I’m talking about: Damon Severson!
Various Leafs and Branches
I liked this article from Kevin, mostly because he came to a lot of the same conclusions as I did in my trade targets article.
You probably didn’t know the Leafs vs. Sabres Heritage Classic game was scheduled for 3pm on March 13th. Well, now it’s scheduled for 4pm.
John Klingberg, who wants a trade out of Dallas, is now out with an upper body injury. The injury is expected to keep him out a month or longer, which is close to as many days as there are before the trade deadline of March 21. This could be a classic case of protecting a trade asset. Too modern for Lou, though, no I’m not still mad about PA Parenteau.
Per Stars PR: John Klingberg is out tonight due to an upper body injury.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 25, 2022
Finally, former Leaf from the same era, Brian Boyle, who is definitely not a tweener, did the tweener on the Arizona Coyotes. Reports are that the Coyotes have been relocated to the AHL, where they’re out of the playoffs.