Friday, April 14, 2017

Zaitsev Ruled out for Game Two

Maple Leaf defenseman Nikita Zaitsev has already been ruled out for Game Two of Toronto's first-round series with the Washington Capitals (Saturday night at Verizon Center). Zaitsev suffered an upper body injury on the final day of the season when he took a hit from Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It's a huge loss for a Maple Leafs team looking for a way to hang with the President's Trophy winners. Zaitsev stepped in as a rookie and logged major minutes for Toronto this season. He averaged 22:01 per game for Toronto in 82 regular season games, was second among Leaf defensemen in points and played a role on both the penalty kill and power play.

The fact that Zaitsev didn't skate today is even more worrisome for Toronto, who fell to Washington in overtime in Game One on Thursday night, 3-2.