For Brandon Kozun, his storybook season couldn’t have started any better. He worked his butt off throughout rookie camp and main Toronto Maple Leafs camp, forcing Randy Carlyle and the Leafs to keep him on the squad for the entire preseason and the beginning of the regular season. He was even the reason Colton Orr found his way down with the Toronto Marlies. However, after an awkward collision into the boards on Friday night, Kozun’s storybook season might be in jeopardy.
Kozun can best be described as the little ball of energy that could. He may only stand 5 foot 7, but his speed and heart make him a very valuable commodity for the Leafs. He gives it his all every shift, even when killing penalties and isn’t afraid to tango with any opposition. Unfortunately that never give-up attitude might have caused his injury.
Late in the game against Detroit, Kozun went hard into the boards with his left ankle caught behind him. It was not a pretty sight seeing his ankle bend or snap against the boards and immediately after he lay on the ice in excruciating pain. He was able to get up and skate off with the help of teammates, but the ankle did not look good.
Here’s the gif of the incident if you would like to watch it. If you’re squeamish then please avoid it.
Seeing Kozun in that much pain and his ankle bend in ways it shouldn’t have, your heart just went out to Kozun who works so hard every shift for the Leafs. It was tough to watch and I immediately thought broken or torn ligaments in his ankle. Kozun will undergo an MRI on Friday and did not travel with the team to Detroit for their Saturday night game.
Editor In Leaf
Head coach Randy Carlyle after the game said he suffered a possible “high ankle sprain” which isn’t really good news. Ankle and foot sprains are the worst kind of injuries and can often be more frustrating to deal with than just a break. If not treated properly they can be a real pain to heal and sometimes doctors suggest breaking the body part to help with the healing.
If it’s a break, it’s a simple 6-8 weeks of healing time, if it’s a sprain there is really no telling how long Kozun will be on the shelf for. It appears that whichever way his apparent ankle injury decides to go, Kozun will be on the shelf and most likely returned to the Toronto Marlies following the injury.
The next biggest question for the Leafs is who will take Kozun’s place. Last night they had Joffrey Lupul double shifting for awhile after the injury, but they’re going to need another body to fill that hole. Does Matt Frattin or Carter Ashton draw back into the line-up? Do they call-up someone from the Marlies?
For Brandon Kozun the injury and sitting out any length of time has to be devastating after leaving his everything on the ice night after night and surprising everyone by making the Leafs roster. For the Leafs, they need to find another spark plug type of guy in a hurry.