Toronto Maple Leafs: Frank Corrado Finally Gets His Chance
It’s not an ideal circumstance for Frank Corrado to get into the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup, but that’s where we are.
Corrado will play for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they play the New York Rangers on Thursday, his second appearance for the Leafs this season.
All it took for him to get into the lineup was an injury to Morgan Rielly. Not because Roman Polak and Matt Hunwick are bad, but because the Leafs have no other option with Martin Marincin still hurt.
It’s a situation that Corrado will need to make the most of because it doesn’t seem like Babcock thinks too much of the young defender.
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The Leafs have spent the better part of two seasons mangling his career trajectory while Corrado watches from afar. There may not be another chance for Corrado this season if everyone stays healthy.
Odds are that the Leafs will roll with Hunwick/Polak as their second pairing and then hide Corrado and Carrick away on the third line.
It’s a scary thought to think about that second pairing getting significant ice-time, but sheltered minutes provides Corrado with an increased chance to perform better.
The heaviest of the workload will lie with Jake Gardiner – who is Toronto’s best defender with or without a healthy Rielly – and rookie Nikita Zaitsev.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what, exactly, Corrado will have to do to bump a current defensive regular out of the lineup when Rielly returns, but it will have to be significant.
On the plus side, it’s hard not to feel good for a player who has been hidden away for reasons that certainly can’t include his play on the ice.
This is Corrado’s shot, and it might just be his last as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs if he doesn’t force Mike Babcock to be impressed.