Ryan O'Reilly injury could be blessing in disguise for Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs center Ryan O'Reilly underwent surgery on his injured finger and is scheduled to return to the lineup in four weeks. Toronto will miss their star acquisition at the NHL trade deadline but as long as O'Reilly is fit for the playoffs, fans shouldn't be concerned with his temporary absence.

Video Transcript


- So I'm surprised that didn't get blamed for this a little bit, um, you know, in the jinx factor because, you know, I've talked about a lot how the Leafs have had acquisitions and they get injured. And now we have Ryan O'Reilly, who is out with a broken finger, which sucks and is disappointing, especially considering the potential of that Ontario line. But I'm going to try to take a more optimistic spin on this because there hasn't been any like concrete timetable of when he's going to return.

We know he's-- we know he's been put on long-term injured reserve. So what if he, you know, misses the rest of the regular season? Or, you know, he's ready for game one or maybe he comes back the last couple of games of regular season? That could be cool. Bear with me.

Ryan O'Reilly has played a lot of games over his career. Even this season-- even this season he got injured before the trade deadline. If he can take this time, again, because it's just a broken finger-- he can still skate. He can still have his conditioning on. Maybe he can still work on some drills and stuff.

So if he is, like, ready and fresh into the playoffs, that could be pretty sick. Now the downside of it is, OK, well, now you're down a center. But, you know, the Leafs have been relying on Matthews and Tavares as their one, two for the majority of the season. Now you have Sam Lafferty, who we've seen can fill in and bring a lot of speed to that center position.

Maybe this could be a good thing. Or not the best thing-- obviously you want Ryan O'Reilly in the lineup. But maybe this could be something that works in the Leafs' favor down the line. Who knows?