The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that John Tavares will be out for at least two weeks with a broken finger. Tavares suffered the injury in the third period of last night’s game against the Washington Capitals. Tavares returned to the game and would later score a goal in the eventual 4-3 defeat.
Saturday night’s clash against the Bruins will be the first missed game of Tavares’ tenure in Toronto. He played in all 82 regular season games and all seven of the team’s playoff games last season. The 29-year-old was off to another productive start, registering three goals and four assists through the team’s first eight games.
Let the Line Juggling Begin
It will be interesting to see how the Leafs shuffle their lineup in the short-term. The team is notably thinner at the centre-ice position after trading away Nazem Kadri in the off-season. Alexander Kerfoot is the most logical bet to take Tavares’ spot in the top-six, while Jason Spezza could also see a bump in playing time.
With Tavares sidelined, Auston Matthews will be leaned on more than ever. The 22-year-old phenom has seven goals and one assist in eight games this season. He’s been skating on a line with Andreas Johnsson and William Nylander to open the season. Nylander could also be a candidate to take some reps at the centre ice position, but the team has expressed a desire to keep him on the wing this year. We’ll get our first look at the Maple Leafs’ makeshift lines at Friday morning’s practice.