The Toronto Maple Leafs have been very fortunate that their blue line has been able to go through the season without any major injury issues.
That was until Zach Bogosian went down with a shoulder injury for the next four weeks. There was no time to debate what impact his absence would have on the team and the team had to turn to the next man up.
More from Tip of the Tower
- Cam Phillips making his mark on Toronto Argonauts offence
- Toronto Argonauts: 4 storylines ahead of matchup against Redblacks
- Federico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FC
- Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic
- Buffalo Bills: Von Miller drawing inspiration from Bruce Smith
Since entering the lineup on April 20 against the Vancouver Canucks, Rasmus Sandin has shown that he is more than deserving of the opportunity being given to him. Even though his game is the polar opposite to what Bogosian brings, he’s earned the respect and admiration of his teammates.
"“He’s such a confident player,” Leafs goalie Jack Campbell said via the Toronto Sun. “He’s in a tough situation without playing much earlier this year and comes in the lineup at a crucial time for us and shows so much confidence and poise with the puck.”"
It’s Sandin’s decisions with the puck that has been in the spotlight but he earned a lot of praise from fans with the way he handled Blake Wheeler trying to initiate physical play. It shows that while he might not be the biggest player, he won’t be intimidated either.
Hopefully, between now and the end of the season, Sandin gets more of an opportunity on the power play which has struggled for well over a month. It also helps that head coach Sheldon Keefe knows that Sandin’s strengths are and will continue to rely on it down the stretch.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Frederik Andersen’s return has to make sense for the team
The talk from practice was the return of Frederik Andersen who participated fully for the first time in well over a month.
It’s encouraging for sure as the team seems to have received a boost with him around but thinking we will see him back in the Leafs net before the regular season ends is complicated. Toronto has him on LTIR which means there is a lack of space with the salary cap available.
As Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston explains, the best opportunity to get Andersen playing is to loan him to the Toronto Marlies and have him play some conditioning games. This would allow the Leafs to activate him for the playoffs and not worry about him being rusty heading into the playoffs.
What are your thoughts on Sandin’s play since being put in the lineup? Do you think he should get an expanded role on the power play? Let us know in the comments below.