DSN Toronto correspondent Mark Masters reported on maple leaves ahead of a match with Vancouver Canucks who skated at the Scotiabung Arena on Saturday.
After sitting down Thursday game for maintenance, Morgan Rielli, Jack Musin, Nick Foligno and Jack Campbell are all back tonight.
Reilly, shocked by a major Josh Anderson attack in Montreal on Wednesday, admitted that “trying to take the time if the guys here absolutely don’t need it is a small act.” “But for a long time, the playoffs around the corner and a busy schedule and I think doing the right thing was the right thing to do. I’m glad to be back and ready to go tonight.”
“Guys at this time of year, they’ll be colliding a little bit, but push it and play through it,” coach Sheldon Keefe noted. “But we’m looking at the big picture. I do not think it’s necessary to know things, guys, where we are here right now.”
The leaves are present at the top nine points of the northern section.
Keefe goes back to the creation he used in Wednesday’s win against the Canadians. So, Really will be paired with DJ Brody, reuniting with Massin Justin Hole. Folligno will return to the top row next to Aston Matthews and Mitch Morner when Campbell starts on the net.
Ben Hutton, Timothy Lilgegren and Pierre Engwall will be in the scratches after dressing for Thursday.
Toronto and Vancouver have split the previous eight games this season.
“We don’t express our best game sometimes,” Reilly said of the series. “The last game we played was very solid. We need to continue with it. We know how to play it. We watched the video this morning. We know their structure at this point, so it’s about implementing it.”
Connach owns the most wins (four) against the leaves this season.
With the return of Foligno, Joe Thornton retreats into the fourth row with Adam Brooks and Jason Spessa. The trio have been playing better since they merged together on April 22 at Winnipeg.
“There are still a few pinch-m moments when you’re out with them,” Brooks, 24, said. “They are very insightful about the game and see more. Is there a hole in the defense in every game where they want you to be outrageously or positioned in the O-zone … it’s so easy to play with them, it’s even more beautiful.”
Spessa and Thornton both hit the scoresheet in four straight games, while Brooks had a goal and an assist on that extension.
“We’ve worked hard to create an identity,” Spessa said. “We know what works and what doesn’t. We look at each other very well. We do a good job of spreading the zone and using our bodies. Brooks is a great player. He finishes well for us.”
Thornton, who has lined up in the middle for most of his Hall-of-Fame career, feels more and more at ease with leftists who have played exclusively this season.
“I liked it a little bit, but I’m comfortable there, and now my game is getting better,” the 41-year-old DSN said during a game broadcast on Thursday. “Usually in the center you are always around the page and you control the game. [On the wing] You need to see a lot more, you need to read the center and know a little more about where you are in the snow, so I liked it for a while, but now I feel comfortable. “
Meanwhile, Brooks is not comfortable in the row of leaves. He has played only seven games this year and 14 NHL games overall.
“There was a big stretch this season where I didn’t even see myself coming back to this position, so I try to use my opportunity,” the Winnipeg native said. “You can’t get complacent in this place.”
Forward Riley Nash and Zack Hyman skate again as they return from knee injuries.
“We have injuries here that keep the guys off the line, so this has created more opportunities for other players and Brookie, which has really taken advantage of him,” Keefe said. “He takes it and runs here. He does what he wants the young players to do. It doesn’t give the coaches a reason to take you out and control what you can control. Go out no matter how much you play and act effectively and show that you are bringing value to the team. He’s finished recognizing it with every game and the coaches. Perhaps, especially this time of year, and more importantly, his teammates recognize it. “
With the return of Reilly and Mass, Rasmus will return to the third pair of sand. There is no doubt that he used his audition a lot in the first four places. The 21-year-old Sweden played a career of 21 minutes 39 seconds on Thursday, taking an assist and finishing plus-two.
“He’s the best,” Reilly said. “One part of his game that I really like is the patience with the buck. He catches it and makes plays. It’s awesome to watch from a young player.”
The Leaves had a day off on Friday, but Sandin was still doing some radio interviews and revealing an identity. He asked about that big reverse win at Blake Wheeler in Winnipeg.
“I saw a guy on my back and thought he was going to hit me, so I tried to make a play,” Sandy told Andy Petrilo, the Leafs lunch host at DSN 1050. “I tried to defend myself as well as it turned out to be a huge success and all the friends on the team loved it.”
How amazing was it that the 5-foot-11, 183-pounder made big hits?
“A little,” Sandin said. “I’m not thinking about it. I think it’s playing hockey. You know, it’s a physical sport, I think you’ve always wanted to use your body. I was a little surprised, it’s popular on social media.”
Roses Sand Blake Wheeler Rocks pic.twitter.com/BfvlbgdpyB
– Kevin Papetti (KPapetti) April 24, 2021
At one point during Friday’s interview, Sandin revealed that countryman William Nylander was with him.
“Sorry, I have an annoying guy near me,” Sandin said with a laugh. “I’m jealous of him talking to you. He’s trying to make fun of me here.”
The pair trained together in the off-season. What is the key aspect of protecting against Nylander?
“Laugh at him,” Sandin said with a sigh. “That would be the easy way out, I think. I have Swedish sculptures. He can throw a reverse victory … he says he can’t stop.”
Nylander, who is celebrating his 25th birthday today, has opened the scoring for the leaves in the last two games.
Wayne Simmonds dropped the gloves with Alex Edler on Thursday night. This is the first time the Leaves have seen a Connaught defender since he sidelined Hyman, who hit his knee on April 18th.
What message did Simmonds send?
“I don’t think he’s trying to do anything like that,” Reilly said. “He felt a certain way about what happened in Vancouver. It was resolved, and now it’s over, so we’re moving forward.”
Simmonds fills Edler pic.twitter.com/RLG7wx8JHQ
– Omar (icTicTacTOmar) April 29, 2021
Simmonds was brought in off-season to increase Toronto’s team toughness.
“I think little things like this are in the fabric of our game. I think it’s part of transforming a team into a team and putting a team together,” Keefe said after Thursday’s game. “Credit to Zimmer for advancing in those circumstances. I think his teammates appreciate it and recognize it. It set a good tone for the game. It’s not really something that has been talked about before or something like that. I think Wayne knows and needs credit for Adler’s participation at the same time. “
Hyman started skating again as he was returning from an MCL sprain.
Saturday Leaves Skate Lines:
Folicno – Matthews – Marner
Calsenuk – Thavares – Nylander
Mikeev – Kerfoot – Simmonds
Thornton – Brooks – Spessa
Really – Brady
Musin – everything
Sandin – Dermat
Hutton – Lilgegren
Saturday Leaves Skate Power Play Units:
Sides: Matthews, Marner
Net front: Nylander
Sides: Kerboot, Spessa
Net front: Simmonds