Don’t expect Nikita Zaitsev back for Game 2 of the Maple Leafs-Capitals series.
Toronto head coach Mike Babcock said this morning that the 25-year-old defenseman did not skate today, and is unlikely to play tomorrow in Washington.
Zaitsev missed Thursday’s Game 1 loss with an upper-body injury, possibly a concussion.
“I don’t expect him back in,” said Babcock. “He didn’t go on the ice today. I was lobbying the best I could today, but they don’t much care what I say.”
By “they,” Babcock presumably meant the Maple Leafs’ medical staff.
Despite last night’s 3-2 overtime defeat, the head coach was encouraged by his team’s performance.
“I thought a confidence builder for sure,” Babcock said. “I liked our game.”