Leafs assistant captain Morgan Rielly
Photo credit: Toronto Star

Historically, the Leafs' record without Morgan Rielly in the lineup may shock you

Published February 15, 2024 at 0:04

On paper and in theory, the Toronto Maple Leafs should be worried to be without the services of workhorse defenseman Morgan Rielly. The veteran has been suspended for 5 games for his actions at the end of their game against Ottawa on Saturday.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old sits fourth amongst his teammates with 43 points in just 50 games - 3 points ahead of John Tavares - is averaging a team-high 24:21 TOI, which is 2 and a half minutes more than anyone else, and is second on the club with 95 blocked shots to go along with his respectable 63 hits. You take that kind of production out of the lineup and that would leave a huge void to fill for the rest of his teammates. T.J Brodie, Timothy Liljegren, and Jake McCabe will have to pick up most of the heavy lifting, however, it might surprise you to learn that the Maple Leafs have historically done well in Rielly's absence.

According to Sportsnet Stats, the Maple Leafs were 14-2-1 in 17 games last season without their number one blue-liner, they scored 70 goals to just 36 against, and their power play didn't take much of a hit as they converted on 22.8% of their chances.

So far, the Leafs are 1-0 without Rielly as he serves his 5-game suspension. Obviously, I don't think anyone is expecting them to be as dominant in every game as they were last night against the Blues without Rielly in the lineup, but it was certainly an excellent start.

Looking ahead at the schedule, the 4 remaining games of Rielly's suspension will be played against the surging Philadelphia Flyers, the struggling Anaheim Ducks, the middling Arizona Coyotes, and the very same Blues. He should be back in the lineup ahead of a 3-game stretch where they play the Vegas Golden Knights twice and the Colorado Avalanche. At leas we know that, for the time being, the Leafs can manage without him.

February 15   |   881 answers
Historically, the Leafs' record without Morgan Rielly in the lineup may shock you

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