Maple leaves were trained in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon.
Nick Robertson has a look at Toronto’s top six. He skated practically Saturday in the second row with 19-year-old John Tavares and William Nylander.
“The way he works is tremendous,” Nylander noted. “He can fill us in. We can give him a buck and get some good marks.”
Robertson played in a professional climb of 14 minutes 19 seconds against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, making his first aid in the National Hockey League.
“He played with a lot of confidence with and without the buck,” coach Sheldon Keefe noted. “He skates hard, he’s expecting a difference. He’s not looking too high in any way. He’s more and more comfortable in the NHL. When he gets the buck, he sees something has to happen. He works and competes, he’s good on defense, so a lot Good things. “
Robertson was in Toronto’s 2019 rankings (53rd overall) and made his debut with the team in a playoff bubble scoring a goal in four games against Columbus last summer.
First NHL Goal! pic.twitter.com/mJeqVQv2i2
– Omar (icTicTacTOmar) August 7, 2020
But Robertson has been sidelined with injuries this year and is only in his fourth game with the Leaves on Thursday. He is fit for 14 games in the American Hockey League.
“He played a little bit in the bubble last year, so I hope his expectations were high, but those things will happen,” said central Alex Gerfoot, who played in a row with Robertson in Tuesday’s game. “He still has the same energy and attitude he always had. When he leaves the ice, you can tell he can do things while he has the buck on his stick.”
Nick Robertson is in a great hurry and he misses his first regular season NHL goal. pic.twitter.com/5Qp0lh6hoh
– Nick Richard (@ _Nickrichard) April 16, 2021
Robertson, who scored 55 goals in 46 Ontario Hockey League games last season, is small in stature, but the 5-foot-9 winger has an incredible machine.
“He’s a fast guy,” said defender DJ Brody. “Little guys are hard to beat at times, and he uses low and wall to his advantage.”
Robertson was one of the last players in Saturday’s snowfall.
“The first thing that comes out is how hard he works,” said defender Morgan Reilly. “He wants to get better. He wants to keep the time and work hard.”
After missing the game on Thursday, Aston Mathews returned to practice in the first row with Alex Calsenuk and Mitch Marner.
“With regard to Aston and Will, we need to see how they feel after the skate today,” Keefe said. “They’re well accustomed to practice today, so it’s very positive, but we’ll not know their official status for the game until we see how they are through the rest of the day and how they will wake up tomorrow.”
Matthews is dealing with a similar injury to a wrist / arm injury that forced him to miss time earlier this season.
Nylander has missed the last five games while on the league’s COVID protocol list. He skated on Friday.
“I feel good,” he said. “I had a bike in the living room, so I feel better.”
The leaves appeared three straight (0-2-1) and missed the soft-skating Nylander.
“How he brings the snow up, how he gets through the neutral zone, how he attacks the attacking blue line, they are all parts. [where] Our guilt has really dried up, “Keefe said.” We don’t have much control over the buck, so he does well for us and it would be nice to get it back. ”
“He says he’s fine,” Riley noted. “So, I think he’s going to fly tomorrow. It’s nice to see him back around the boys.”
If Matthews and Nylander return to the lineup on Sunday, Pierre Engwall and Adam Brooks are expected to have scratches perfectly as practically extras.
Engwal has played in 31 straight games since February 11, but Sweden are still adjusting to the center. He has only produced one assist in 10 games and was benched for part of Monday’s game in Montreal.
With the leaves ready to host the Montreal Canadians on April 7, Nylander received praise from Kieff for alerting the team immediately about his condition.
“We came back from the road [trip on April 6] The next day I met someone who tested positive for COVID, “Nylander recalled.” I had to be isolated for nine days and had nine negative tests. “
It was a stressful situation for the 24-year-old winger, who skated with teammates just hours before learning about the problem.
“I was worried about getting it and giving it to guys, which I really didn’t want to happen,” Nylander said. “On top of that [first] Every day I was so nervous during the few days I was tested, but thank God no one got it. “
The arrival of Nylander leads Toronto’s declining power to shake the game. In Sunday’s practice, the team reunited with so many hits last season: Nylander, Matthews, Marner, Towers and Rielli.
“If we hadn’t lost the bow we would have gone for it sooner,” Keefe explained. “We ‘ve been talking about this look, going back a while now, but it’s messed up. Time is right now. We had yesterday to get some rest and a training day today, which is a good opportunity for us to refresh and start fresh if you want.”
As Nylander played low and around the net, the leaves got an amazing run in the power play last season. The team changed 26.5 percent of their chances in 47 games after taking charge behind the Keef bench, finishing second in the NHL.
This season the team started with a very consistent approach with Matthews and Marner on one team and Tavares and Nylander on the other. Toronto came in second with an efficiency of 32.5 percent at the beginning of March.
But in the last 17 games, the Power Play has fallen from a cliff where one goal and three shorthand goals were allowed in 42 attempts.
“We talk about this every day,” Riley admitted. “We’m talking about structure, we’re talking about what needs to be done better. It’s a grind thing for us.
After playing 375 games in five NHL seasons, Ben Hutton is keen on his playoff debut.
“It’s every child’s dream,” said the 27-year-old security guard. “Growing up in Ontario, I ‘ve always dreamed of playing playoff hockey or scoring that big goal in the playoffs. Everyone dreams about it, and now I’m getting a chance that I’m so excited about. I can not wait.”
Hutton traded for a goal and four assists in 34 games with the Ducks this season before the deadline on Monday.
“I didn’t make as many points as I wanted this year,” Hutton admitted. “Leaves is a beautiful attacking team, so I hope I can jump on that wave and make a little attack. I want to be a strong PK. I’m a defensive player, our decision to put out my first job buck.”
Ond, from Brockville. He has spent his entire NHL career in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Anaheim in the West.
“I finally have to come back to the East, so it’s not too late to watch my parents get up and play, so it’s exciting,” Hutton said. “The last [few] Days, I get texts from a lot of happy managers at home, a lot of leaves fans. Even family members and friends who are not fans of the leaves know what the condition of the leaves is.
Saturday practice lines:
Calsenuk – Matthews – Marner
Robertson – Towers – Nylander
Mikeev – Kerboot – Hyman
Thornton – Spessa – Simmonds
Really – Brady
Musin – Everything
Thermode – Phocosian
Marinsin, Lilgegren, Sandin
Power play units in practice on Saturday:
Matthews – Towers – Marner
Calsenuk – Thornton – Spessa