Toronto Maple Leafs: Clarke MacArthur Doubtful For Buffalo Sabres Match-up

By Michael Roberts
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs scoring depth took another hit after the announcement Clarke MacArthur is doubtful to suit up against the Buffalo Sabres.

MacArthur has a lacerated finger after being slashed in the team’s previous outing. He lost the nail on his pinky finger and is likely unable to face his former club in the rematch from their match-up a week ago.

James van Riemsdyk took MacArthur’s place on the top line in practice after MacAruther took Joffrey Lupul’s place when he went down to injury. Left-wing was once one of the few strengths of the 2-3 Maple Leafs but injuries have quickly whittled down the position.

The last thing an offensive team needed was to suffer another loss to one of their top-six forwards. It’s been no secret goaltending and defense hasn’t been leading Toronto to success in recent years, as the team relies heavenly on their offense to produce.

MacArthur’s injury might not be as significant as Lupul’s however the team can’t afford to lose two in a row to the Sabres this early in a 48 game season. Losses are never helpful but losses to division rivals sting twice as much.

The pressure only mounts more on Phil Kessel needing to find his first goal of the year. He sits at 99 career goals in a Maple Leaf uniform and finding the century mark appears to a hurdle Kessel can’t overcome. Through five games last year, the sniper had seven goals and five assists, so far this season he’s only managed two assists.

With van Riemsdyk also moving up to the topline the Leafs run the risk of putting all their eggs in one basket. The former second overall pick was brought in to help take pressure off Kessel as a secondary scorer. He’s had an impressive start to his Toronto career and will hopefully to continue his strong play as the team will look to him to step up.

The Maple Leafs have quickly found themselves with a losing record just over a week into the season. With injuries mounting up, things could get a lot worse before they get any better.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the Toronto Raptors for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts

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