with Mitchell Marner absent, Auston Matthews will see rotating wingers – .

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with Mitchell Marner absent, Auston Matthews will see rotating wingers – .


The Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets skated at the Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday.

Mitch Marner will be out for three to four weeks with a shoulder injury sustained in a collision with teammate Jake Muzzin during Friday practice. Initially, the right winger was only supposed to be away for a few days, but an MRI scan showed the problem to be worse than expected.

“He’ll probably be back on the ice sooner rather than later,” said head coach Sheldon Keefe. “We’ll be careful with that, of course, and make sure he’s ready. ”

The Leafs have not earned a win (0-1-1) in two games without Marner over the weekend. Where does he miss him the most?

“Everywhere,” left winger Alex Kerfoot said. “He’s on the ice the entire game. Everyone needs to step up. No guy is going to fill that role. We have to do it as a group.

Marner averages 20 minutes and 47 seconds of ice time per game, which leads all of the Leafs forwards this season.

Jason Spezza has spent a lot of time with Auston Matthews and Michael Bunting in Minnesota and Winnipeg games. Spezza also won Marner’s minutes with the best unit on the power play. The 38-year-old veteran produced two goals and an assist in the shootout loss to the Wild.

“Guys have to step up and fill this gap,” Keefe said. “You saw what Spezz did in Minnesota. He’s an escalating guy. “

While Spezza is now set to run out of time due to suspension, it was Wayne Simmonds who joined Bunting and Matthews in morning practice. The second line remained intact, with John Tavares between Kerfoot and William Nylander. Nick Ritchie joins David Kampf and Ondrej Kase in the third row.

“It still gives me the ability to move people, which I suspect we will,” Keefe said. “Auston is going to have a lot of different teammates tonight. “

Kase is set to score 21 goals and, on paper, appears to be the most compelling candidate to evolve and play in Marner’s place. Keefe admitted he was tempted to move the 26-year-old to this location. In the end, he decided to keep Kase, who has just returned from a three-game absence, alongside his good friend Kampf.

“We tried Kase with Auston in our game in Buffalo [Nov. 13] and talking to Ondrej afterwards he didn’t feel like himself in this game and he was a bit out of his comfort zone, ”Keefe revealed. “I learned pretty quickly that he’s a guy who likes comfort, consistency and reliability, so, especially coming out of his injury, it’s really important. Plus, it’s an efficient line for us and an efficient duo, so you take it out and then you have another hole somewhere else. “

Marner is expected to miss 3-4 weeks due to a shoulder injury

Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe reveals that Mitch Marner will be out for 3-4 weeks with a shoulder injury after colliding with Jake Muzzin in training. The team expect him to be back on the ice as soon as possible, but they will take their time before he resumes play.

Kase will take Marner’s minutes with the best power play unit. He was in the bumper with this group during morning practice with Matthews and Nylander on the flanks.

“We used him on the second unit the other night and liked some of the things he came up with there,” Keefe said. “He maintains the right shot and that brings a level of familiarity for this unit with the way the players’ hand works. “

Columbus is eighth in penalty percentage this season (84.1).

“Their special teams are very good,” Keefe said, “the penalties in particular make it pretty miserable for the opposition. “

“It makes life miserable for me on my own team, to be honest in training,” Jackets forward Max Domi said. “It’s no fun playing against. They are so good. Guys like Sean Kuraly, [Eric] Robinson, Boone Jenner, I mean they don’t stop. They are on the puck. They’re tracking him down. “

The absence of Spezza and Rasmus Sandin, who left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, is a blow to Toronto’s second power play unit. Simmonds will now join that group as a goalie presence pushing Ritchie down the flank. Jake Muzzin becomes quarterback.

Sandin was unable to put any weight on his right leg after receiving a knee-to-knee blow from Neil Pionk on Sunday night.

“We had some great news on Rasmus, or I would say better than we expected,” Keefe said. “He also had an MRI and the results are positive in the sense that there is no real structural damage to his knee. “

As first reported by TSN Hockey insider Chris Johnston, Sandin is expected to miss two to three weeks.

Sandin wasn’t the only Leafs defenseman injured on the recent road trip.

“Travis Dermott also suffers from a shoulder injury which doesn’t appear to be as bad as Mitch’s, but certainly bad enough that he’s not available,” Keefe said.

Asked about an injury update early in his media availability, Keefe smiled.

“You might have to wave me over some of them,” he said.

With the injury bug for the first time this season, the door has opened for a few undrafted prospects to make their NHL debuts. Alex Steeves, a 21-year-old Notre Dame product, will skate on the fourth row with Kyle Clifford and Pierre Engvall. Kristians Rubins will join Timothy Liljegren on the defensive third pair.

“Every time it’s someone’s first game, there’s excitement for them, and it resonates throughout the squad,” Kerfoot said. “You always love seeing and being a part of those experiences and it breathes new life into the band. “

Steeves missed training camp with an injury, but he’s been scorching since returning with the Marlies.

“Not too much,” Nylander said when asked what he knew about Steeves. “I only saw a few highlights. I think it’s pretty quick from what I’ve seen. He scored some great goals so that’s probably the only thing I know. “

Steeves has seven goals and five assists in 12 American Hockey League games this season.

Rubins, meanwhile, rose through the ranks at ECHL where he spent time with the Newfoundland Growlers during the 2018-19 season.

“He really earned the respect of the group here, not just me, but [assistant coach] Dean Chynoweth and the rest of the coaching staff, and did a good job with the Marlies, ”said Keefe. “We have other options as well, but it’s a good opportunity for him that we’re delighted to give him. . ”

“A big boy,” Nylander said of the 6-foot-5, 227-pound Latvian. “Heavy in the turns. I know that from training camp so it will be fun to see him there. ”

Matthews called the third period in Winnipeg “a gong show”. The Leafs believe it all started to fall apart when Pierre-Luc Dubois battled Matthews on the ice and referee Brad Meier decided to take the two guys into the box.

“This situation should have been [one] penalty, ”Nylander said. “I don’t even think Auston was doing anything. Strange situation. The game got out of hand from there. “

Keefe was asked if the NHL needs to do more to protect stars like Matthews.

“These guys draw a lot more attention to themselves so there would be more possibilities for appeals,” observed the coach. “If I’m correct, I don’t think Auston has taken a penalty all season, which is weird considering how much he has the puck and how involved he is. So this stuff is worth looking into if you are involved in this. “

According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Matthews has taken just one penalty in a five-on-five game this season.

Keefe calls it “strange” Matthews didn’t shoot more penalties

Sheldon Keefe was asked if the league could better protect its elite players after Pierre-Luc Dubois and Auston Matthews were involved in a fight. The Maple Leafs head coach admits it’s odd that Mattews hasn’t shot more penalties this year given the number of pucks he has on his stick.

Has Nylander checked when the Leafs and Jets will play again?

“I’ve seen it before,” he confirmed with a smile. ” We’ll see what happens. “

The Leafs host the Jets on March 31.

Nylander is close to Sandin, his summer training partner, and struggled to see him leave the ice in pain on Sunday.

“Obviously you would have wished something happened on the ice, like a penalty or something like that, but what happened happened,” he said. “We will continue until we play them later. “

Nylander is already anticipating Jets rematch: “We’ll see what happens then”

William Nylander reflects on the Maple Leafs’ loss to Winnipeg and explains why he believes if a few calls had been made things wouldn’t have gotten as bad as they did.

Vladislav Gavrikov approached Domi during the Jackets’ morning practice and struck up a conversation about their duel in the 2015 World Juniors gold medal game, which took place at Scotiabank Arena.

“It was awesome,” recalls Domi. “It was one of the highlights of my career. The last two times I was here I didn’t really think about it, but Gavvy reminded me of it. We were talking about who was on his team and who was on my team. Two very good teams with a lot of guys in the NHL.

Canada held on to beat Russia 5-4 in a crazy championship game. All members of the Canadian team have played in the NHL. Domi used the word “spectacular” to describe this list.

“It’s crazy to think it’s almost seven years ago now,” Domi said. ” Time flies. It was a good race. ”

It’s been a while since Domi played in his hometown where his father, Tie Domi, was a fan favorite at the time.

“It’s always fun,” said the 26-year-old. “It’s definitely a game that I look forward to every year. Family, friends and everyone are very excited. This is where I grew up. All the ushers and everyone, security, it’s always nice to see everyone. It’s just as exciting for them. This is I have the impression that yesterday I was so fat. I haven’t grown much, but a little. “

Domi last played in Toronto on October 5, 2019. He scored a goal and added an assist in a 6-5 win for the Canadiens.

Petr Mrazek (groin) joined the Leafs in practice on Tuesday. He started on Sunday with the Marlies as part of a conditioning camp in the AHL.

“We’ll continue to develop him and get him to a point where he’s ready to play a game in the NHL,” said Keefe.

Joseph Woll will dress as a backup goaltender tonight.

Tuesday Leafs skating lines:

Bruant – Matthews – Simmonds
Kerfoot – Tavares – Nylander
Ritchie – Combat – Fromage
Clifford – Engvall – Steeves
Spezza, Mikheyev

Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Tous
Rubins – Liljegren
He is running

Campbell commence
Woll
Mrazek

Tuesday Leafs’ power play units:

QB: Rielly
Flancs: Matthews, Nylander
Middle: Kase
Net forward: Tavares

QB: Muzzin
Flancs: Engvall, Ritchie
Middle: Bunting
Front net: Simmonds



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