Sheldon Keefe provides clarity on the status of 3 key roster players

Cody Craig
March 22, 2024  (3:37 PM)

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe behind the bench with his team
Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports

Friday afternoon, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media about several key roster players and when we can expect them to return to the lineup.

Mitch Marner has skated before practice a few days in a row. The elite playmaking winger has been out with a high-ankle sprain since he was injured in Boston on March 7th. He will be unavailable for the back-to-back games this weekend. The plan is to keep him off the ice tomorrow altogether to provide him with some extra rest.
Despite Marner's injury progressing well, it's better to not rush him back into the lineup. It doesn't seem out of the question for him to return sometime next week, but if he's not 100% then there's no point in the injury getting worse.
On Tyler Bertuzzi, he was away from the rink today. It has been mentioned by Keefe that Bertuzzi has been feeling worse since coming home from Washington and it may be more than a simple stomach bug or flu. He is currently listed as questionable to face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Finally, when it comes to Ilya Lyubushkin, "The Russian Bear" is projected to miss his third straight game as he recovers from an illness that has kept him out of the lineup and away from the ice since March 16th when the Leafs faced the Hurricanes. The right-shot defenseman returned to practice today as he works his way back to 100% for the final stretch before the playoffs. Lyubushkin has also been banged up in recent weeks, so this stretch of time off should help to repair some of the stress on his body from all the wear and tear.
The fact that the Leafs have so many key guys out right now shouldn't be overly concerning, as it just gives them a chance to rest up a little more ahead of the playoffs. The Buds host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night for an all-Canadian Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
MARCH 22   |   465 ANSWERS
Sheldon Keefe provides clarity on the status of 3 key roster players

How valuable is Mitch Marner to the Maple Leafs?

He is their best all-situations player25955.7 %
This team is better without him286 %
His absence is noticeable, but not back breaking17838.3 %
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