Jake Gardiner sent down to Marlies

Jake Gardiner sent down to Marlies

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A little late on the news; we wanted to make sure you guys checked out the inaugural MLHS podcast.

Jake Gardiner has been sent down to the Toronto Marlies to rediscover his timing and confidence in the AHL. His poor decision making with the puck and numerous bobbles have been uncharacteristic to say the least, and James Mirtle makes the point that he’s just the latest in a line of Leafs who have shown even more rust than we expected coming off a concussion. A young player being sent down to get up to speed after a significant injury layoff is obviously nothing to worry about, at least not yet.

Meanwhile, I hope Mike Komisarek takes full advantage of his opportunity tomorrow night. For the first time since he got here, I can say with a straight face that, forgetting one costly penalty vs. the Pens, Komisarek deserves to be in the lineup. Maybe – okay, likely – he’s just been the beneficiary of some good timing when it comes the team’s performance in the two games he played versus the two he didn’t, but he’s nonetheless been a plus-three in around 15 minutes of ice time each game. His physical play, experience and tendency to stay close to home are qualities the Leafs blueline could use but it’s always a question of how many mistakes he’s going to make.

He’ll be returning to the lineup following a game in which none of the Leafs‘ D looked good, especially not fellow fringe defenceman Cody Franson, who I thought played his worst game in a Leaf sweater with a direct hand in two goals against.

Ball’s in your court, Mike. Surprise us all.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]

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