The Toronto Maple Leafs had themselves a nice win on Wednesday night, going into Pittsburgh and taking out the Penguins, 5-2. The game didn't come without a cost, though. Winger Joffrey Lupul is going to be out up to six weeks.
Lupul, he of the brand new, five-year, $26.25 million contract extension and 67 points in 66 games last season, was struck by a slap shot from teammate and noted blueline bomber Dion Phaneuf. He took it square in the arm, and the result was a fractured forearm.
As you can probably guess, that's not something that you come back on the ice from right away. A broken finger, perhaps. A broken forearm? No. So the Leafs are looking at a timetable of up to six weeks, which still doesn't seem all that long to me. But in a shortened season, that's a massive chunk.
Unfortunately for Lupul, it's the latest in a long line of injuries. The last time that he played more than 66 games was back in 2008-09. In his nine NHL seasons, he has only played 75 games or more four times. Injuries have had a way of finding him.
It's obviously not ideal for the Leafs, but they have gotten off to a nice start with no statistical production from Lupul so far. The Leafs are 2-1-0 and in that one loss they were probably the better team against Buffalo. All the while, though, Lupul didn't even record an assist. You could say that it's not terribly likely the Leafs could continue to play well for a long time without production from the top line, which is probably true. So getting Lupul back in the earlier part of that "up to six weeks" time frame would clearly be ideal.
Lupul finished the 2011-12 season with the Maple Leafs, his first full season on Toronto, with 25 goals and 42 assists in 66 games.