Golden Knights vs. Maple Leafs preview: Injuries pile up ahead of Canadian road trip

You can’t say this season has been boring.

Surely you didn’t think the Golden Knights would be full of bliss and wonder after a three-game winning streak.

In order to stick with the theme of this short season, the injury bug needed to strike again.

Top-line center William Karlsson is the latest big name to hit the injured list for the Golden Knights with what’s been deemed a broken foot. The initial injury was first reported by SinBin, and the timeline of six weeks was broken by The Athletic.

Both components have been confirmed by multiple sources.

Mark Stone. Max Pacioretty. Alex Tuch. Mattias Janmark. Nolan Patrick. Zach Whitecloud. And now Karlsson. You can’t make this up if you tried.

None of those names mentioned above will be available when the Golden Knights begin a four-game road trip starting Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Scotiabank Arena.

After starting 1-4-0 and having their first four-game losing streak under Pete DeBoer, the Golden Knights responded with impressive back-to-back wins against the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars, capped off with a Nevada Day shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

But with the news that Karlsson is going to miss significant time, it truly is a next-man-up mentality for the Golden Knights. One of those next men up could be Michael Amadio, the forward claimed off waivers from Toronto on Saturday. Amadio played three games with Toronto this season, last playing Oct. 16 with no points.

Amadio likely goes from scout-team helper against Toronto to likely sliding into the lineup.

Allure of Toronto

The Golden Knights have done a lot in five seasons. Winning in Toronto is not one of them. Vegas is 0-1-2 all-time in Scotiabank Arena.

But if you forgot what it’s like to see Vegas in Toronto, you’re not alone. Nov. 7, 2019 was the last time the Knights were in Toronto. On that day, Gerard Gallant was the coach, Malcolm Subban was the starting goalie, and injuries were certainly not an issue. The Golden Knights lost that game 2-1 on a game-winning overtime goal by John Tavares.

There are three places the Golden Knights have never won in: Toronto, Boston, and Seattle.

Struggling Leafs

Toronto is on a similar course with Vegas in regards to their starts. The Maple Leafs have won two straight after losing four in a row of their own, winning in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks and a high-scoring affair against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Leafs have undergone some major changes in goal, moving on from Frederik Andersen (who’s killing it in Carolina) and rolling with the tandem of Petr Mrazek and Jack Campbell. The latter is expected to get the start on Tuesday after a 27-save victory in Chicago a week ago.

Even though Toronto is struggling, the star power still strikes fear in opposing defenses. So long as Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner are healthy, as well as Tavares, their forward group is as lethal as any in the League.

With 200-foot players Karlsson and Stone out, the onus is on Chandler Stephenson and Nicolas Roy to be those difference makers on the defensive end.

Projected lineup

William Carrier — Chandler Stephenson — Peyton Krebs

Jonathan Marchessault — Nicolas Roy — Reilly Smith

Evgenii Dadonov — Michael Amadio — Keegan Kolesar

Brett Howden — Jake Leschyshyn — Jonas Rondbjerg

Nicolas Hague — Alex Pietrangelo

Alec Martinez — Shea Theodore

Brayden McNabb — Dylan Coghlan

Robin Lehner

Where to watch

Time: 4 p.m.

TV: AT&T SportsNet, ESPN+, TSN4

Radio: Fox Sports 98.9