Leafs' Jake Muzzin Stretchered off After Suffering Scary Injury vs. Blue Jackets

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Toronto Maple Leafs' Jake Muzzin skates during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

There was a scary scene in the final two minutes of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers series between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Kristen Shilton of TSN Sports noted Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin "slid head-first into a knee" and remained down on the ice during a lengthy delay. Training and medical staffs from both teams came on the ice, and players on both sides expressed significant concern when the stretcher came out.

Mark Masters of TSN shared a look at the scene:  

Mark Masters @markhmasters

Scary injury situation for Jake Muzzin Stretcher is out https://t.co/a3mRkniy7a

Muzzin was eventually taken off the ice on a stretcher, which drew stick taps from the rest of the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets:

#StanleyCup Qualifiers on NBC @NHLonNBCSports

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs show support for Jake Muzzin as he is taken off the ice on a stretcher. https://t.co/9qoctxBs7K

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star explained the defenseman will need at least four days to be cleared to return to the ice if the injury requires hospitalization outside the bubble environment the NHL set up in Toronto for the Eastern Conference teams.

The Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets are scheduled to play Game 3 on Thursday.

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet noted Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Muzzin was taken to a local hospital.

As for the play in question, Sportsnet noted Muzzin's head collided with Oliver Bjorkstrand's legs when he was attempting to get up after Pierre-Luc Dubois knocked him to the ice. The Maple Leafs were on a penalty kill while nursing a 2-0 lead in the closing minutes.

Toronto eventually added an empty-netter to clinch a 3-0 win and even the series at a game apiece.

Prior to Tuesday's contest, Muzzin had appeared in 53 games for the Maple Leafs this season with 23 points on 17 assists and six goals. He had a plus-minus mark of plus-12.