Dion Phaneuf suspended for two games

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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.

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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]
  • PEIleafnation

    2 games suspected

  • rustynail

    and for head shots in two consecutive games against us Seidenberg gets sweet fuck all, the Jacobs effect

  • mcloki

    Great Kings and Blues. At least it happened at an opportune time in the schedule. FML. Well tighten up the sphincters boys it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590/status/410453254934630400
    Joffrey Lupul skating with Kulemin and Holland. Could be set to return tomorrow.

  • mcloki

    rustynail Does he play D?

  • Tim Horton

    Murph2417 PEIleafnation It also says so in the title of this article.

  • Reimocerous

    rustynail Musical chairs.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Murph2417 PEIleafnation And maybe the following game as well.  Duh

  • Tim Horton

    Bruffins Carlyle will find a way to sit Rielly.

  • Pent_House

    This is going to be the biggest test of the year. Two of the hardest fore-checking teams in the league.