There are two members of the Toronto Maple Leafs roster who were conspicuous by their absence this morning.
According to multiple reports this morning there were two members of the Maple Leafs who did not step out onto the ice with their teammates this morning, those Maple Leafs being veteran defenseman Jake Muzzin and Toronto Maple Leafs rookie forward Andreas Johnsson. This is obviously a big concern not only because the players are both significant pieces of the Maple Leafs' roster, but also because the Leafs are about to play in a huge game that could have a big time impact on team morale moving forward.
The Leafs of course are set to enter a long awaited rematch with the New York Islanders this evening with the last meeting between the two squads ending in absolute disaster for the organization. The Leafs marched into Long Islands with former New York Islanders captain John Tavares on their roster and the Islanders fans in the building let the Leafs, and more specifically Tavares, have it all night long. To make matters worse the Islanders also gave the Leafs much more than they could handle on that night with the Islanders completely dominating the game from the opening puck drop on their way to a blowout victory over Tavares and the Leafs.
There is a silver lining here if you are looking for one however and it is that both of these guys could still realistically enter the game this evening and play. Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston had a chance to catch up with Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock and it sounds like Babcock is still keeping open the possibility that one, or both, of these players could play in the game this evening. Babcock also provided some details regarding the status of both players, and although it seems like both have been sidelined by health issues it does not seem like injuries are at play here.
"One has food poisoning and the other had chills," said Babcock as per Johnston's report.
Babcock also informed Johnston that neither player has been ruled out for tonight as of the time of this writing, which likely means both will be game time decisions tonight.