Joffrey Lupul left in the first period of last night’s Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Philadelphia Flyers. He was caught in a hit sandwich by Jay Rosehill and Adam Hall and needed to be helped back to the bench. Leafs coach Randy Carlyle had this to say after the game:
“You always take those situations with caution, and he feels fine now, but that’s what happens in the context of the game,”
Although Carlyle said Lupul felt fine last night according to the Leafs twitter account Lupul did not attend practice today. There hasn’t been anything said as to whether or not he will play in tomorrow night’s game but for the Leafs sake I hope he does. Lupul just returned after a 25 game absence because of a broken forearm and you would think that because the Leafs played so many games with out him they will be fine if his injury keeps him out of the lineup. However I’m not sure this is the case, in the 7 games he’s been in since returning Lupul has scored 8 goals and added 6 assists, 3 of those goals were game-winners.
The Leafs do not do well in the games following a Joffrey Lupul injury. That was evident earlier this season when Lupul broke his arm in the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. This game was immediately followed by a 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders and a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Last season the Leafs started a downward spiral when they lost Lupul near the end of the season in a game against the Boston Bruins. This spiral caused the Leafs to miss their 7th straight playoffs.
If Lupul is out for an extended period of time I seriously fear for the Leafs season. Without Lupul they may just miss the playoffs for the 8th time.
UPDATE: Assistant GM Claude Loiselle just told TSN radio that Lupul will not be travelling to New Jersey with the team.
UPDATE: Mark Masters talked to Carlyle today about possibilty of concussion:
Asked Carlyle if there are any concussion concerns with Lupul: ‘No, that’s a bad word. We don’t use that word until we’re 100% sure.’
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 5, 2013