Jake Gardiner will not play tonight. He is week-to-week with a back injury. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 27, 2019
Jake Gardiner Injured
Jake Gardiner was also suffering through back spasms when he missed two games in January. Gardiner played a season-low 16:30 on Monday Night but did pick up 22 shifts.
So far this season, Gardiner has scored two goals and 27 assists for 29 points to go along with 24 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 52.3 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of +2.2 percent.
The Minnesota Native has spent his entire eight-year career with the Leafs. He has 44 goals and 200 assists for 244 career points in 549 career games. He was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks 17th overall in the 2008 NHL draft.
What This Means for the Future
Gardiner was playing on the second pairing along with Ron Hainsey this season. The Leafs won’t lose any size as Ozhiganov is the same size and just a touch heavier. However, Gardiner is definitely more skilled and brings a lot more to the Leafs line-up on a daily basis. Hopefully with Gardiner taking time off now ensures the Leafs that he will be ready for the playoffs. The Leafs currently sit in the third and final playoff position in the Atlantic Division with the Montreal Canadiens sitting five points behind them.
With Gardiner out of the line-up defenceman Igor Ozhiganov draws into the line-up on the blueline. Ozhiganov has played in 42 games this year for the Leafs recording three goals, four assists for seven points. He also has 12 minutes in penalties. The Leafs would hope that Gardiner is able to be back in the line-up once they return from their west coast road trip.