The Toronto Maple Leafs have just 11 games remaining in the condensed 56-game NHL schedule as their lead atop the North division shrinks.
The Leafs remain at the top of the standings but the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers sit four and five points back respectively. The Oilers also have a game in hand on Toronto.
After an overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night, the team has more questions than answers amidst a four-game losing streak.
This was the same Canucks team that was ravaged by a Covid-19 outbreak and looked like they were struggling to get back up to game speed.
The teams will meet up again on Tuesday night in Vancouver before the Maple Leafs head to Winnipeg for two pivotal games against the Jets.
Making the challenge more significant is the injury Zach Hyman sustained in Sunday’s loss after a dirty hit from Canucks defenceman Alex Edler, which earned the Swede a two-game suspension.
Hyman will miss at least two weeks with a sprained MCL but head coach Sheldon Keefe believes the team can still win without him.
"“We have played without important people throughout the season and have played some of our best hockey when we have been missing guys,” said Keefe, to reporters. “We have to give Hyms time to get healthy. We know he will come back strong. Our team shouldn’t miss a beat.”"
Who will take Hyman’s spot in the lineup is among the many uncertainties surrounding Keefe and the Maple Leafs for the remainder of the season.
Let’s take a look at three of the biggest questions for Toronto going forward.