VANCOUVER — The Toronto Maple Leafs lineup received a contemporary dose of the acquainted whereas injecting some new life up entrance because the staff tries to snap out of a three-game shedding streak.
Auston Matthews and William Nylander have been full members at Rogers Enviornment on Saturday.
Matthews missed the final sport with an damage head coach Sheldon Keefe stated was “comparable however not the identical” because the ailment that pressured the NHL’s main scorer to overlook three video games earlier than lacking a fourth on Thursday.
Nylander skated along with his teammates for the primary time since coming into quarantine final week. He got here into contact with somebody who later examined constructive for COVID-19.
“We’ll need to see how they really feel after skating at the moment,” Keefe stated. “They received via the apply properly at the moment in order that’s clearly a really constructive signal, however we cannot know their official standing for the sport till we see how they’re on the the rest of the day and the way they get up tomorrow.”
Nylander took half within the morning skate along with his teammates on Apr. 7 earlier than their 3-2 win towards the Montreal Canadiens. Nylander later confirmed on the NHL’s COVID-19 listing and the staff put out a press release that the participant was pulled from the lineup on account of “publicity to a potential constructive case with an in depth contact outdoors the staff”.
“We received again from the highway and I met any person who examined constructive for COVID the subsequent day,” Nylander stated. “So I needed to isolate for 9 days and had 9 nights of assessments. Now I am right here.”
The potential return of each Matthews and Nylander allowed the Leafs to revive some normalcy to their lineup. Throughout the Saturday skate, each gamers have been on their common first and second traces, respectively. They have been additionally grouped collectively on the staff’s first power-play unit. Toronto loaded up the unit with Mitch Marner and John Tavares.
The Maple Leafs are 1-for-42 on the ability play over their final 17 video games.
“We in all probability would have gone to it sooner had we not misplaced Will and Auston,” Keefe stated about placing the band again collectively. “We have been speaking about this look, going again with it for some time now however that received disrupted.
“The timing is true right here now.”
Matthews has 32 targets and 21 assists in 40 video games this season. Nylander has 13 targets and 17 assists in 39 video games.
Robertson strikes up
With two offensive weapon nearing a return, Nick Robertson has not solely escaped the chopping block however has moved additional up the lineup.
Robertson discovered himself skating on a wing with Nylander and John Tavares.
“I believe the very first thing, with me, that jumps out is how laborious he works,” Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly stated of Robertson. “In apply, he simply desires to get higher, desires to place the time in to work laborious, he skates with a lot energy.”
Robertson has one help in 4 video games.
Though this is a wonderful alternative to for Robertson, it isn’t clear that this could be a long-term transfer. When Nick Foligno wraps up quarantine, I believe the second-line left wing spot is the place he finally ends up. That is to not counsel Robertson hasn’t earned the promotion. But when the Leafs do find yourself making some strikes roster strikes to unlock house to activate Frederik Andersen off LTI earlier than the playoffs (extra on that later), eradicating Robertson and assigning him to the taxi squad is one in every of their least riskiest strikes.
Pierre Engvall is the person on the surface trying in. He has three targets and 5 assists in 35 video games this season, however discovered himself benched for a part of Monday’s sport in Montreal. He has one help in his final 10 video games.
Engvall carries a cap hit of $1.25 million and the staff could make $1.075 million in house accessible by taking him off the roster. Engvall requires waivers as he’s now not exempt after present process the method earlier than the common season began.
Frederik Andersen skated earlier than apply with goaltending coach Steve Briere. He was put via the paces by engaged on loads of side-to-side movement within the objective.
He is nonetheless a good distance from being on the radar to return to the lineup as he’ll must get some practices in, however his arrival on the highway was an indication that it may very well be an choice later within the week.
Because it stands proper now, the Leafs do not have room to activate Andersen off LTI earlier than the playoffs. The staff would want to shed no less than $3.2 million in cap house, based on PuckPedia.com.
Aside from Robertson, shifting different gamers off the lineup requires waivers and that is the place issues get tough.
Rasmus Sandin took half in apply to deliver the defensemen participation depend to a season-high 9 gamers.
Sandin performed in a single sport with the Leafs because the staff’s seventh defenseman earlier than he was despatched all the way down to the Marlies the place he suffered a foot fracture through the minor league staff’s season debut.
“I undoubtedly had wished to see him play for us right here earlier than the season wraps up,” Keefe stated “The hope was that he’d get vital time with Marlies and minutes there to essentially stand up and working.”
The American Hockey League had postponed three Marlies video games on account of COVID-19 and the Leafs had introduced some gamers on this highway journey that may in any other case be with the minor-league membership.
Keefe does not really feel Sandin is able to return to lineup fairly but. It is possible he’ll return to the Marlies as soon as the staff is cleared to renew actions.