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Weekend FTB: Mickey and the Sandman are good

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Praise for 65 and 38.

NHL: SEP 18 Preseason - Maple Leafs at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Leafs got their first win of the preseason and as good as it is to get a victory, they don’t really matter too much. What does matter is how well Ilya Mikheyev (Mickey) and Rasmus Sandin looked out there against the Sabres.

I’ve made jokes saying Mickey is the front runner to become Babcock’s new toy this season, but his play has been very impactful in these two games. He’s strong along the walls and puts himself in good areas throughout the offensive zone and has slowly showed off some of his offensive skill.

Mickey was strong on his skates and pulled off some nice moves with speed throughout the game.

And then there’s Rasmus ‘The Sandman’ Sandin. Yeah. He’s making the team guys. It may be premature to say after a couple of showings, but Sandin looks very confident and comfortable out there.

It’s not only the safe plays he makes. Sandin actively pushes off the blueline and skates down low to advance the puck. He’s also very detailed and does the little things which Babcock should and will appreciate.

Many will focus on the curl-and-drag of Read’s goal, yet it was Sandin’s breakup in the neutral zone that allowed it to happen. There’s also this sequence that I’m convinced earns him a spot.

There are five games remaining in the preseason (including this one) and plenty more time for the Leafs coaching staff to watch the two of them. Mickey is as close to a lock as you can get and I believe Sandin is continuing to get close to that.

Robertson Appreciation

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