John Tavares is out for a month due to injury: Leafs' coach reacted
by SEAD DEDOVIC | VIEW 304
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be weakened since John Tavares will not be able to play due to an oblique injury. It will take about a month for his return. Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe is sad about the injury but believes that he has quality players to replace him.
"He has been dealing with something since the game the other night," Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said for NHL.com "He thought it was pretty minor, but they had some further tests here later today after we started practice and it has come back with an oblique strain that is going to keep him out a minimum of three weeks.
He's a huge part of our team and it really does alter the plan for sure. But we've played without guys before, so for the remainder of the camp it just is additional opportunities for guys to step up and fill in that space." This will be an ideal opportunity for young players to get a chance and prove themselves.
"You are not going to replace John, but it does create extra opportunity for us to look at others and others to step up and take advantage of that opportunity," Keefe said. "At the same time, John and our medical team will do all they can to get him back as soon as possible."
Sheldon Keefe on his team
The coach of the team spoke about the options he will have at his disposal.
"This is fresh information and I have not had a whole lot of time to process it, but we've been putting Alex [at center] throughout camp, Jarnkrok has the ability to play up the middle, [and] I've been really happy with Holmberg's camp so far," Keefe said.
"We've got a number of different options." This could be a great season for them considering the quality players and young players who will be looking for their chance. "It's no secret you need to have depth," Keefe said. "It comes at various times, your needs, we hope that this is the time where we need it and we can be healthy the rest of the way.
The good news is at this point, the potential for guys to miss time like John, like Liljegren, like Engvall, like Muzzin, nothing seems to be too serious to the point where we would expect to be close to full health if not opening day, not far after that."