TORONTO — The run to the top of the NHL standings has included some twists and turns for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
They’ve dressed 30 different players over the opening 20 games alone and practised Tuesday down seven bodies: top-six wingers Joe Thornton (lower body) and Zach Hyman (foot), who are both considered day-to-day; winger Wayne Simmonds (broken wrist), who is still a few weeks from returning; depth forwards Alexander Barabanov and Scott Sabourin, who both entered the NHL’s COVID Protocol after inconclusive PCR tests; and defenceman Jake Muzzin (broken bone in face) and goaltender Frederik Andersen (lower body), who have no clear recovery timelines.
The most likely of that group to dress for Wednesday’s rematch with the Calgary Flames is probably Barabanov. He needs one more negative COVID-19 test to rejoin the team. But it’s not out of the question that they’ll all be out.
“I think you expect it in a year like this,” said veteran Jason Spezza. “There’s going to be injuries and there’s going to be guys out of the lineup. I think it’s been talked about ad nauseam just how things have changed throughout the year, but when you go through it there is an [adaptation period].
“You have to pick up the slack.”
Spezza went on to add that he feels depth is one of the keys behind a 14-4-2 start for the Leafs.
With that in mind, here is a look at how…