Dion Phaneuf suspended for two games

Dion Phaneuf suspended for two games

by -
257

It’s the first time since November of 2010 that we’ve even had to ponder the question of what the Maple Leaf blueline will look like without Dion Phaneuf.

Alas, Phaneuf has been suspended for two games as a result of his hit from behind on Kevan Miller at the end of Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.

It seemed like a game would suffice given Phaneuf’s nonexistent priors and Miller being fine outside of a cut on his face. But the Leafs haven’t had much luck in the injury or suspension departments this season, and Phaneuf will join David Clarkson, Carter Ashton, Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel (preseason) among those in Blue and White to have been suspended this season. Combined with significant man games lost for Bolland, Bozak and Lupul, adversity has not been in short supply for the Leafs in the first half of the season.

Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner could become the de facto top pair in Dion Phaneuf’s absence, with perhaps Paul Ranger replacing Dion on the right side of his pairing with Carl Gunnarsson. From there, Randy Carlyle can fill out his lineup with a combination of Morgan Rielly, John-Michael Liles and Mark Fraser. Jake Gardiner playing 25 minutes isn’t something he’s foreign to, but a guy like Cody Franson will need to step up on the right side.

Update from practice:

 

It could be a sink or swim proposition for some of the Leafs D seeing increased minutes, as the two games Phaneuf will miss will be against the Kings and Blues, who are both in the League’s top 8 overall with a combined record of 38-13-7.

One upside is that Phaneuf seemed a little hobbled after blocking a shot with his foot against Ottawa, and played despite some discomfort on Sunday. Maybe the forced rest will do him some good. But it’s woeful timing as far as the competition in the Wednesday/Thursday back to back.

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]

SIMILAR ARTICLES

179 comments
GCConnected
GCConnected

This one will hurt the team, with Dion out on a tough back-to-back with tough Western Conference teams in the Kings and Preds. Hope the leafs can at least split the series. Phaneuf will have to apologize to Elisha on why he is $66,000 poorer. Looking to see Franson take over his pairing with Carl. If your interested on another view on this story check out this article; http://www.gcconnected.com/?p=305

Thedoor29
Thedoor29

So I am calling a phaneuf signing by Dec 19th now.

Claymish
Claymish

Oh dilemma....Play Bernier against his old team L.A., or Reimer against his old teammate Scrivens.

deedrag
deedrag

I actually wish we had a Roy type coach with some big cojones. Someone willing to tell the NHL you're wrong. If you're going to suspend one of ours suspend the others too. No bullshit, just the do the right thing NHL. We need a coach that is a leader.

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

I remember Fraser last year chipping the puck out of the zone, this year he wants to play like Paul Coffey.

loomx
loomx

@Belfour20 Probably not. Komarov wanted to play in the Olympics, he'll be back next year. But who knows? Burke was always a player's GM and may have convinced him to stay.

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@deedrag Bunny Laroque - once stopped Gretzky on a penalty shot in a game the Leafs won by a huge margin. Early 80s.  watched it on HNIC - there were few shining moments in the 80s

mcloki
mcloki

@Shift_Disturber1 Everyone has watched this team. Saying it's undisciplined play is disingenuous. WE've all seen our fair share of crappy officiating.  Real crappy officiating. 

rustynail
rustynail

@Belfour20 talking about absolute shit speed  D though and what does Murray make this season?

phaneufoundlander
phaneufoundlander

@deedrag I wish we had a coach that actually talked to the players on the bench during a game, congratulating them for a fine play, or discuss bad plays with a pat on the back or two hands on the shoulders....Wils was like a stiff behind the bench and RC is no better...last night I watched the Philly game and I saw Maclean place 2 hands on the players shoulder on 3 occasions; going over plays with a little pat on the back afterward....it motivates the player....God, I wish we could reincarnate Pat Burns...

loomx
loomx

@Belfour20 Won't help much. Carlyle has this ridiculous attachment to certain players. Holzer, Kostka, McLaren+Orr, McClement, Fraser.

Thedoor29
Thedoor29

@-Keon- are we talking about the same 2 people? leo Komarov and BB right? BB was the one that got him to stay during the lock out and play in the AHL

Thedoor29
Thedoor29

@loomx @Belfour20 I agree loomx his passion is with his national team (previous captian)and he will be hard pressed to make it while being on the leafs 3rd line.

loomx
loomx

@-Keon- Exactly. I don't hate the guy when he plays well, but the fact is that he's not. Leafs could probably send him down now. He'd definitely clear waivers.

Alec Brownscombe
Alec Brownscombe moderator

@loomx @Belfour20 I'd rather him attached to Holzer or Kostka over Fraser. Not even kidding. Fraser is just terrible this year, too slow to play in the NHL.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@4evrblue @Burtonboy Who knows but there was no way the Leafs could meet his salary demands in a yr when the cap was reduced 

loomx
loomx

@hoolihan @loomx @Belfour20 Raymond and Bolland are pretty much the only players that have made a tangible difference. The off-season goal was simple. Improve the D. Our goalies were fine. Our forwards were fine. What did he do? Replaced a quarter of the forwards and a goalie and did a whole lotta nothing to the D.

loomx
loomx

@hoolihan @Belfour20 lol, yeah JFJ II, meaning the guy whose team made the playoffs for the first time since the lockout. The same team that is currently worse now that Nonis has made changes to it.

loomx
loomx

@Ryan @Alec Brownscombe @loomx @Belfour20 I think the injury affected him, but I don't think he was ever that good. Had a good stretch of games, but I disagree, he got worse near the end and in the playoffs.

Ryan
Ryan

@Alec Brownscombe @loomx @Belfour20

You think his injury has affected his play at all ? Taking a slap shot to the forehead changes the way a guy plays hockey. He was a beast near the end and during the playoffs. 

loomx
loomx

@Alec Brownscombe @loomx @Belfour20 Holzer on the other hand is playing great for the Marlies. Doesn't overplay his position, much better with the puck than Fraser. If Carlyle promises to keep him on the bottom pairing, he would be a much needed improvement.