Defenseman Jake Gardiner will be back in the Maple Leafs’ lineup tonight, according to approximately three million tweets from Toronto reporters.
Gardiner has been a healthy scratch the past two games, both Toronto wins. When asked the other day what the 24-year-old defenseman — the same guy who signed a five-year, $20.25 million contract extension in the summer — could do to stay in the lineup, coach Randy Carlyle replied, “Play better.”
Expected to take Gardiner’s spot in the press box will be veteran Stephane Robidas. The 37-year-old — the same guy who signed a three-year, $9 million contract in the summer — logged just 13:28 of ice time in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win versus Colorado, by far the lowest of any Leaf d-man that night.