This past Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs went head to head with the Philadelphia Flyers. The big news coming out of that game wasn’t the final score but the health of Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul.
King Joffrey as he is referred to by Toronto fans and media has put his team on the right path; it’s a path that might see the Leafs make a return to the NHL Playoffs after a 10 year absence. Lupul got sandwiched between two Flyer players while playing the puck in his own end. The incident occurred at one minute and 23 seconds of the very first period.
After the hit, King Joffrey took some time to get to his feet and skate over to the bench. Although he stayed on the bench for a short while, it wasn’t long before he was taken to the training room for further observation.
He did not return to the game. Moments after the hit, all the energy that was in the Air Canada Center seemed to be sucked out of the building. A usually confident and tough Toronto team looked stiff and sluggish. After the loss of Joffrey, his teammates could have chosen to play one of two ways.
They could have reestablished a physical presence against their Philadelphia opponents. It should be noted that Toronto has the number one spot for hits in the league this season. The Flyers are a close second. After the game, Coach Randy Carlyle said that Lupul had suffered an upper body injury after taking a shot to the head. He was 50/50 after further examination by to the Leafs medical staff and he was listed as day to day.