Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares sustained a knee injury in addition to a concussion on Thursday. The forward will need a minimum of two weeks to recover from the knee ailment in addition his concussion diagnosis.
“I think the knee injury you can give a timeline on but the head injury and concussion is very difficult to place a timeline (on),” Dubas said. “We handle those in a very conservative nature and handle them very sensitively.”
Tavares was on the receiving end of a knee to the head from Montreal Canadiens forward Corey Perry as he fell awkwardly when hit by defenseman Ben Chiarot during Toronto’s 2-1 loss in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Dubas said that Tavares received a CT scan and an MRI at St. Michael’s Hospital and was cleared of all structural damage to the head, neck and spine.
The GM talked about the incident over Zoom on Saturday. He took exception with the Toronto Sun’s choice of photo and caption on the front cover of Friday’s newspaper.
“We felt the cover of their newspaper crossed the line,” Dubas said. “We found the cover to be disgusting.”
Dubas acknowledged that the writers and columnists of the papers don’t have any input on what goes on the front cover.
“But we just thought it was extraordinarily insensitive on the part of the The Sun with regards to the photo and caption that accompanied the situation,” Dubas said.
With Tavares out for at least the first round, the Leafs have changed their focus to making adjustments for Game 2.
Toronto forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre Engvall will make their series debut on Saturday.
Nick Foligno will serve as the second-line centre to start in Tavares’ absence.
“I was saying yesterday I don’t feel like we have an abundance of option really at the center-ice position osin particular,” Keefe said. “So we have to monitor that, but I like the looks of it, the lines here today,”
Foligno will have Galchenyuk and William Nylander on his wings. Pierre Engvall comes in as Riley Nash will sit as a health scratch.”
“He missed Game 1 of our series (last year) with Columbus (Blue Jackets) as well and then came into Game 2 and I thought made an unbelievable impact,” Keefe said of Engvall.
Jack Campbell return in goal for Toronto after sitting out of Friday’s practice for maintenance.
The Canadiens will also make changes. Jesperi Kotkaniemi will make his series debut in place of Jake Evans who was injured in Game 1.