Whether see you as a case of trickle-down or syphon-up, the latest injury woes of the parent Toronto Maple Leafs have had an effect on the Newfoundland Growlers.
The Growlers who will look to extend their record winning streaks tonight at Mile One Centre, will do so without defenceman Michael Kapla, who was recalled to the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies Monday afternoon.
Kapla’s promotion came after the Maple Leafs announced star rearguard Morgan Rielly was lost for eight weeks because of a broken foot suffered when he blocked a shot in Sunday’s loss to the Florida Panthers. Rookie Rasmus Sandin was recalled by the Leafs to take Rielly’s place, leaving a vacancy that Kapla will fill.
It’s the second promotion for Kapla in the last couple of weeks; he appeared in one games for the Marlies after his first recall. In 34 games with Newfoundland, he has a goal, 19 assists and a plus-11 rating.
The Growlers still have rearguards on the roster, although veteran Alex Gudbranson, who was injured last fall and has only appeared in three games for Newfoundland in 2019-20, is not expected to play again this season
The Growlers (27-10-0), who have won nine games in a row — a franchise record and ECHL high this season — host the Kansas City Mavericks tonight and Wednesday in what will be Newfoundland’s fourth and fifth games in six days; the Growlers returned to St. John’s on Monday after winning three weekend road games — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — in New England.
Tonight, Newfoundland will also be looking to extend its 14-game home win streak — another franchise record — against a first-time opponent. The Mavericks (17-17-2) , who play in the ECHL’s Mountain Division and officially play out of Independence, Mo., a Kansas City suburb, are an affiliate of the Calgary Flames.