The Toronto Maple Leafs are already without defenseman Nikita Zaitsev. Now they will be without one of their best blueliners for the rest of the postseason.
Roman Polak, who averaged 17:55 of ice time for the Leafs this season, was injured in the second period after absorbing a huge bodycheck from Brooks Orpik.
“Obviously, he’s done for the year,” Babcock said. “It’s unfortunate obviously. A lower body injury there. It’s one of those things.”
Polak suffered the injury after his right skate got caught in the ice, forcing his foot to bend the opposite way. Polak immediately called for the trainers and was helped off the ice.
“You know Orpik’s a good man,” Babcock added, absolving the veteran defenseman of blame. “He plays hard. He doesn’t mean to hurt anybody. It’s just one of those things that’s unfortunate for Pole.”
The Leafs will now turn to either 25-year-old Russian defenseman Alexey Marchenko, Zaitsev (if he’s healthy), or a replacement from the Marlies.
Pairings vs Ice Caps
— Todd Crocker (@HockeyCrock) April 15, 2017
Game Three of Toronto’s first-round series with Washington takes place Monday in Toronto.
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