Gardiner dished out an even-strength assist and had three hits and four blocks in Sunday's 4-2 loss to Boston. Gardiner was able to collect his second point of the series, and saw 15:47 of ice time in the game. The fact that the Minnesota native saw 1:13 of power-play ice time in the game would likely add to his fantasy value going forward. With Game 7 approaching Tuesday, the team will need Gardiner to keep up with his 10-hit, nine-block shot series performance thus far.
Gardiner (back) played 16:51 Thursday in a 3-1 loss to the Lightning in his return from injury. Gardiner's confidence grew as the game wore on. His timing was a bit off, but thankfully he has another game to settle things before the playoffs begin. Gardiner played 1:32 on the power play and while he didn't pick up a point, he blocked one shot and laid one hit. The Leafs are considerably better with him in the lineup and his absence may have actually increased his offseason free agent value. For now, Gardiner will play Saturday to get his timing better and then work to atone for a bad Game 7 against the Bruins in last year's playoffs.
Gardiner (back) will return to action Thursday against the Lightning, Paul Hendrick of the Maple Leafs' official site reports. After missing the last 18 games, Gardiner reportedly will accompany Nikita Zaitsev to form the second defensive pair. Gardiner has benefited greatly from the team's strong two-way play overall -- as evidenced by his plus-17 rating -- though he's 23 points short of his 2017-18 output since injuries have limited him to 60 games with just two more to play in the regular season.
Head coach Mike Babcock hopes that Gardiner (back) will play two games before the end of the regular season, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports. Toronto is hoping Gardiner will return for Thursday's game against Tampa Bay and would likely dress seven defensemen. The Minnesota native hasn't played since Feb. 25, but he resumed skating March 22 and practiced in a non-contact jersey three days later.
Gardiner (back) skated in a non-contact jersey at Monday's game-day skate, Jonas Siegel of The Athletic reports. Considering Gardiner hasn't been cleared for contact, he won't be suiting up versus the Panthers on Monday. It will be the 14th game on the shelf for the defenseman due to his back issue. The Minnesota native remains without a specific timeline for his return, but will no doubt be hoping to be ready for the playoffs. Justin Holl figures to continue filling out the blue line in Gardiner's absence.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||81||7||35||42||6||1||0||1||1||0||156.2|