Jake Muzzin was discharged from a hospital overnight Tuesday but will not play for the Toronto Maple Leafs for the remainder of their Stanley Cup Qualifier series against the Columbus Blue Jackets because of an injury he sustained in Game 2.
Muzzin, who is at a hotel in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, was taken from the ice on a stretcher with 1:52 remaining in the third period of a 3-0 win at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday.
The Maple Leafs said he will quarantine in the hotel and look to rejoin the Maple Leafs when he recovers from the injury.
The defenseman fell chest-first onto the legs of Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to the right behind the Toronto goal. Muzzin was down for more than 10 minutes lying on his back before being immobilized and taken from the ice, with stick taps from each team. The Maple Leafs said he was alert and able to move all limbs.
“I’m told he’s responsive and all of that, and just awaiting his assessment,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said after the game.
As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.
Toronto was leading 2-0 when Muzzin was injured.
“No question, seeing one of your teammates go down, especially a guy like ‘Muzz,’ you know the type of warrior he is.” Toronto captain John Tavares said. “I think what he brings to our team is unmeasurable, obviously very tough. All signs are very positive being around him, and nice to close it out for him. But certainly tough to see, especially just how much we love that guy.”
Muzzin played 17:06 with three hits and three blocked shots, helping Toronto even the best-of-5 series.
“Yeah, it’s difficult,” Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen said. “I think seeing a guy like Jake that everyone cares about, he’s very well-loved in the locker room. Being as tough as you are, it’s really hard to see him totally laid down and not move. So we’re just thinking about him and making sure that all the right steps have been taken, and hopefully he recovers soon.”
The Maple Leafs were killing a penalty when Muzzin was injured. He played 3:33 shorthanded.
“He does a big part for this team, penalty kill, even strength against the best players against the other team,” Toronto forward Mitchell Marner said. “He really does mean a lot to us. So being beside when he did go down and stayed down, obviously it’s a little worrisome. And when you see the stretcher come out, a lot of things run through your mind. We’re all on his side and all praying for him. We just want to make sure that when he does come back he’s 100 percent, and there’s a lot bigger things than hockey.”
The Blue Jackets won Game 1 2-0 on Sunday. Game 3 is Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, FS-O).
“Obviously, it’s tough to see, and no hockey game is as important as someone’s health, so we’re thinking of him right now,” Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski said.
NHL independent correspondent Sean Farrell contributed to this report