For the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins it’s a good news, bad news situation.
The Leafs got good news, sort of, when coach Mike Babcock said Friday that Mitch Marner’s injury — suffered in a loss to Columbus Wednesday — is not as serious as originally thought and that he will be out day-to-day.
That collective sigh of relief around the city is Marner’s status. If he plays against the Senators tomorrow, we’ll likely have a parade.
— Ari Shapiro (@ari_shapiro) February 17, 2017
For the Penguins, the news is all bad, as reliable stay-at-home defenceman Olli Maatta will be out six weeks after undergoing successful hand surgery.
Marner, who leads the Leafs in scoring and is tied with Patrik Laine for the rookie scoring lead with 48 points, didn’t practice Friday, having avoided serious injury after a crash into the boards in Columbus. It is believed that a MRI didn’t reveal anything significant and he’ll be monitored right up to Saturday’s big tilt with the Ottawa Senators as to whether he’ll play or not.
As for Maatta, who has seven point in 54 games and is +17, he should be able to return in time for Pittsburgh to start their title defence in early April. Maatta exited Thursday’s overtime victory over Winnipeg after a heavy collision with the Jets Adam Lowry. Adding to their woes, resurgent high-scoring defenceman Justin Schultz also left that game with an injury and his status is unknown as of Friday afternoon.