It seems as if everyone on the Toronto Maple Leafs is in line to be tested positive for COVID-19 before this is all over. In breaking news this morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs placed Mitch Marner and Pierre Engvall in COVID-19 protocol. The Maple Leafs have placed a total of 17 players in COVID-19 protocol over the past few weeks.
As head coach Sheldon Keefe noted, both Marner tested positive yesterday. Fortunately, it was also reported that both Marner and Engvall have some symptoms, but they are minor.
It’s Been a Tough Season for Marner
It’s been a tough season for Marner. He was out after suffering a freak shoulder injury during practice; and, since he’s been back, he’s only played in two games. On the season, Marner has scored six goals and added 15 assists. However, he also leads the team’s forwards in ice time. It might be tough to replace his time and contributions.
Engvall Has Added Value to the Maple Leafs Bottom Six
Engvall has registered 10 points in 32 games. However, he’s really done well playing in a Maple Leafs’ bottom-six role. He’s been great with the third line of center David Kampf and either Ondrej Kase or, more recently, Ilya Mikheyev.
According to the analytics, when he’s on the ice five-on-five, the Maple Leafs are well over 50% of the shot attempts, expected goals, and scoring chances.
Line Combinations with Marner and Engvall Out
Here’s how the Leafs dealt with the absences at practice Friday:
Replacing Marner and Engvall
With both Marner and Engvall out for the next while, the Maple Leafs have re-assigned forwards Joey Anderson and Brett Seney from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies to the team’s taxi squad. It looks as if Seney will get a chance to draw into the lineup in Colorado against the Avalanche on Saturday night.
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