More than a few eyebrows were raised when the Toronto Maple Leafs made Jake Gardiner a healthy scratch on Sunday, though critics were mostly silenced after a 6-3 win against the New York Rangers. Head coach Randy Carlyle (kind of) explained the decision to sit Gardiner after that victory, according to the Toronto Sun.
“We had a round table (with the coaching staff) and we felt we wanted Franson back in the lineup,” Carlyle said after the Leafs’ 6-3 win over the Rangers. “Jake drew the short end of the stick.”
After playing about 19-and-a-half minutes in Toronto’s season-opening loss against the Montreal Canadiens, Gardiner topped all Leafs with 23:04 of ice time in an embarrassing loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gardiner registered a -2 rating, and while his possession stats have been solid enough, he only managed an assist in two games despite starting a whopping…
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