Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gunnarsson Hits the IR

Doesn't look like the Toronto Maple Leafs got the good news that they were hoping for when defenseman Carl Gunnarsson went for his MRI in Calgary on Tuesday, as they have now placed the 25-year old Swede on the Injured Reserve with an ankle/leg injury.

Gunnarsson was hit by a puck in practice and he will now miss an undisclosed amount of time, but since he was placed on the IR, he will miss at least a week, due to protocol, but any more time has not been announced just yet.  Keith Aulie was recalled by the Leafs to be the seventh defenseman, but didn't figure into the game against Calgary.

Gunnarsson has had a solid season for the Maple Leafs to this point, scoring 2 goals and 14 assists and will go into Wednesday night's action as the 76th ranked defenseman in pool scoring, but now that he is taking some time off to injury, that ranking will surely drop, which is unfortunate.  The Leafs depth at defense has been one of their strong points this season, keeping them in the playoff race in the East, giving their goaltenders a better chance at wins overall.  The loss of Gunnarsson will surely hurt that depth, but it may only be for the short-term.

ImplicationsThis is a very unlucky turn of events for Jani K., who currently leads the Week Twenty scoring, through Tuesday night's action, with 13 points. Jani is only 20 points out of 5th place, which is certainly manageable with the time left in the season, but his team will need to stay healthy and hot on the scoresheet to do so.

Jani has had one of the best teams in the pool since the All-Star break, picking up 67 points in that time, ranking 4th in that time.

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