July 12, 2024

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The Toronto Maple Leafs faced off against two Stanley Cup contenders over the weekend, the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes.

With Mitch Marner still sidelined with a high ankle sprain, Calle Jarnkrok out for the foreseeable future, Tyler Bertuzzi under the weather and T.J. Brodie a healthy scratch, it provided others the opportunity to get into the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup and perform.

For head coach Sheldon Keefe, the games against the Oilers and Hurricanes allowed him to assess his roster and try to further narrow possible line combinations and defense pairings in preparation for the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Without further ado, here are some observations from the weekend that was for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Injury Concerns are Mounting

After missing Sunday’s game against the Hurricanes, Marner has now missed the last seven games. While last week’s report that he was “progressing” is encouraging, there has to be concern about the seriousness of the injury.

Remember that Timothy Liljegren and Joseph Woll took a long time to return from similar high ankle issues. The Leafs are rightfully being cautious with the injury and giving him all the time he needs to recover.

There is still plenty of time for rest, but in the not-too-distant future, Marner needs to get back on the ice. Getting in some reps with his teammates and returning to game shape is necessary before the playoffs start. Only then, can Leafs management and their fans exhale.

Equally important, is the status of the Leafs goaltending. It is once again in flux thanks to the injury suffered by Ilya Samsonov late in Saturday’s game against the Oilers.

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