Jake Muzzin skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday for the first time since the defenseman was injured in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“Jake’s doing well in the sense that he’s finally got a little bit of freedom,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He left his hotel room this morning for the first time and he actually got out on the ice and got a little skate in this morning. So that’s obviously very positive considering what he had been through.”
Muzzin was injured when he fell chest-first into the legs of Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand behind Toronto’s goal. He was down for more than 10 minutes lying on his back before being immobilized and taken off the ice on a stretcher.
He was discharged from a hospital overnight Tuesday but was ruled out for the remainder of the Qualifiers the following day.
Martin Marincin has played the past two games in Muzzin’s absence.
“Certainly we’re very fortunate that he’s recovering quickly in comparison to what we were fearing for the worst in terms of him being on the stretcher and all that kind of stuff,” Keefe said. “So it’s great to see him around our team and moving around today.”
Toronto will play Columbus in Game 5 of the Qualifiers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, FS-O).
The winner will advance to play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the loser will have a 12.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery on Monday.