Well that was quick.
Lupul has missed 25 games this season after being hit with a shot from Dion Phaneuf, leaving him out with an broken forearm. The timing of Lupul’s return is absolutely perfect for the Maple Leafs, who are trying to grab a playoff spot for the first time in nearly a decade.
The Maple Leafs are winless in their last four games. The Jets are nipping at their heels. Getting back the guy who is, arguably, their best offensive player is going to be a huge for them. Even if he doesn’t break out on the stat sheet right away, his presence should be a nice mental boost.
In practice, Lupul joined the line with standout Nazem Kadri and Nikolai Kulemin, neither one of which he’s too familiar with. As far as whether or not we should expect a slow start from Lupul, that’s certainly a possibility. He’s coming off of an injury that caused him to miss almost two months. He’s going to be a little rusty.
Luckily, returning from a broken forearm isn’t like recovering from a muscle injury. When it’s healed, it’s healed. He may be a bit slow out of the gate, but it shouldn’t be long before we see him return to that form that he demonstrated last season. And the Maple Leafs need that form soon if they want to avoid falling out of contention.