It really wasn’t that long ago that the Toronto Maple Leafs had a real shot at making the playoffs. (No, seriously.)
At this point, the Maple Leafs are in tank mode, though – whether that’s by choice or not.
The latter point is strengthened by a series of injuries, which might open up another opportunity for prodigal prospect Nazem Kadri. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that injuries to Joffrey Lupul, Nikolai Kulemin and Mike Brown might be part of the reason Kadri’s been called up.
You can break Kadri’s runs in 2011-12 into three categories now that he’s back up for at least a cup of coffee. Here’s how the first two spans went:
Oct. 20-24: three games, one assist
Dec. 22-Jan. 31: 16 games, four goals and one assist
For all the hype Kadri’s gotten since being drafted seventh overall in 2009, he hasn’t really justified the attention that naturally comes from Toronto. At 21 years old it’s ridiculous to close the book on him, however, but you have to wonder if this last stretch might have an impact on his future with the Leafs.