In case you missed it, Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Andreas Johnsson left last night’s game against the Boston Bruins after colliding knee on knee with Bruins super pest Brad Marchand late in the third period.
Check it out:
Ouch that doesn’t look pretty. Following the Leafs’ 4-2 victory however, Johnsson seemed to be in good spirits and was hopeful that he wouldn’t feel any ill effects from the hit.
Terry Koshan: Andreas Johnsson on not being injured: "I thought it was so much worse than it was. Great relief, I felt good going back on the ice." #Leafs
This morning Leafs head coach Mike Babcock met with assembled media at Air Canada Centre and officially offered an update on the rookie’s status for Thursday’s Game 4:
James Mirtle: Babcock said Andreas Johnsson is completely fine after being shaken up on that hit last night. "He's fine... He's playing well for us so it's important that he's back and ready to go."
All is well that ends well, I suppose. Looks like the kid will be good to go. The question now is, will he even be given a shot? Injured veteran Leo Komarov looks probable to make his return to the lineup after resting a lower body injury last night.
If it’s determined that Komarov is fit to play, there’s a good chance that he’ll take Johnsson’s spot on the 4th line with Dominic Moore and Kasperi Kapanen. No official word yet from Babcock on Komarov’s health or on what his lineup plan is for Thursday night.
It’s also worth nothing that Leafs centreman Nazem Kadri has one game left remaining on his three game suspension for running Bruins forward Tommy Wingels in Game 1 of the opening round series. Once Komarov and Kadri are back in the full rotation, you have to imagine that Johnsson will become stapled to the bench once more. Fair? Probably not. But this is Playoff Hockey and you can’t blame Babcock for wanting to get his veterans out on the ice as much as possible.
It's expected that the Leafs will hold a more formal practice tomorrow morning, where we'll get more answers on the status of Komarov.