Jake Gardiner will be a healthy scratch for the Maple Leafs tonight.
Gardiner struggled against the Blue Jackets on Monday so he will take a seat to night in favour of Paul Ranger. Don't expect Gardiner to sit out too many games, but this coach Randy Carlyle sending him a message, that he needs more out of the young D-man.
With Mark Fraser out Gardiner will get bumped up to the Maple Leafs second pair and J.M Liles will slide into his old spot on the third pair. Gardiner played very well in Game 4, he had two assists, three hits and three blocked shots in 27:45 of ice time. The only downfall of his game on Wednesday was his four giveaways.
Gardiner is expected to play for the Leafs on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, making only his third appearance in the NHL this season.
Gardiner spent the full season with the Leafs and was named to the NHL’s all-rookie team a year ago, pulling off the rare feat of scoring 30 points from the back end in his first full year as a pro. Since being returned to the Marlies in late January, however, Gardiner has 14 points in 21 games in the AHL and overall is 12th in league scoring for defencemen despite missing 18 games.
Gardiner sent down to Marlies. Long lay off because of concussion. Needs time to adjust.
Gardiner played 20+ minutes last night and finished a -1. Obviously the Maple Leafs coaching staff thought that Gardiner needs some more time to get back into playing shape after the concussion he suffered in December.