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Leafs’ Gardiner ‘not sure what’s going on’ with being healthy scratch

Apr 10, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT

Jake Gardiner Getty Images

Jake Gardiner has gone from being one of Toronto’s most important defensemen to one of its least-used ones.

And he doesn’t really know how it happened.

“I’m not sure what’s going on,” Gardiner Told the Toronto Star. “I feel like I can definitely contribute. I’m going to do whatever the team needs to win.

“I’m just going to try to contribute any way I can.”

The 22-year-old blueliner has appeared in just eight games for the Leafs this season, failing to score a goal while registering just two assists.

It appears he doesn’t have the trust of head coach Randy Carlyle, who has repeatedly made Gardiner a healthy scratch lately.

(As diagrammed in my impressive Gardiner chart):

Mar. 26, 3-2 win over Florida: 21:09 TOI, one shot, minus-1
Mar. 28, 6-3 win over Carolina: Healthy scratch
Mar. 30, 4-0 win over Ottawa: Healthy scratch
Apr. 4, 5-3 loss to Philly: Healthy scratch
Apr. 6, 2-1 win over New Jersey: 16:27 TOI, plus-1
Apr. 8, 4-3 win over New York Rangers: Healthy scratch

Do keep in mind this is the same Gardiner who, as a 21-year-old rookie last season, played 75 games, finished second among all Leafs defensemen in scoring (30 points) and averaged 21:35 a night.

This season, he was derailed by a concussion suffered while playing for the AHL Marlies in December. But he says he’s at full health and ready to contribute — the latter of which Carlyle doesn’t agree with.

“He’s a young player and I’m not going to put him in situations he can’t survive,” Carlyle explained. “That to me is the most important thing with our young players.”

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Every game down the stretch is big. The Leafs have eight NHL-calibre D-men and Carlyle loves playing matchups, so he’s going to play the six guys he think match up the best against the opponent.

    I’d like to see more of Gardiner but obviously what Carlyle is doing has been working so no need to mess with it.

  2. desertfan - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Any of you losers want to trade Kessel for Seqiun???

  3. desertfan - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Great move Burke!!!

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