We’re starting to see the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ blueline — both in the short and in the long term, and both in terrifying and exciting ways.
With injuries to Jake Muzzin and Morgan Rielly, our uber-prospect Rasmus Sandin got back into the NHL last night against the New Jersey Devils. He had two primary assists in just over 16 minutes of play and looked pretty good the whole way. Granted, it was against the Devils who are a pretty terrible team, and his ice time was the lowest among any Leafs’ defenseman.
But it’s exciting to think that when Muzzin comes back, with Rielly out maybe for the rest of the regular season, we’ll get an extended look at Sandin in the NHL as our third pair LD.
Yesterday, we also saw our other first round defensive prospect recalled in Timothy Liljegren. It was his third time being recalled, but for the third time he didn’t get into the game. Unfortunately for him, the only healthy side of the Leafs’ blueline is the right side. I’m hoping the Leafs decide to give Ceci or Holl a game off so we can see Liljegren get his first taste.
We also saw Pierre Engvall moved up to play the wing along with John Tavares and William Nylander, and in fact he set up Willy’s 20th goal with a nice pass.
All I want now is for the Leafs to make a big trade that a) makes the team better with a new acquisition, and b) makes a spot for Liljegren on the roster for the rest of the year. Ceci for a 5 picks in the 7th round... do it Kyle!
ONTO THE LEAFS
Rasmus Sandin makes some noise in a 7-4 win over Blake Coleman | by Katya
Maple Leafs call up Timothy Liljegren | by Katya
Salary Cap Loopholes and Well-Timed Injuries: Can the Leafs pull off the Chicago Gambit? | by Katya
Marlies Recap: Egor Korshkov still injured, misses boat show road trip | by Hardev
According to Bob McKenzie, there are two bits of news/rumours concerning the Leafs and their defense:
1) Teams are reaching out to them about trading them a defenseman, and if the Leafs are willing to part with the likes of Kapanen, Johnsson or Kerfoot they could get a longer term young defenseman of like value.
2) Leafs have had very early talks with Jake Muzzin about an extension.
Insider Trading: Teams calling defence-thin Leafs. @GinoRedaTSN, @DarrenDreger, @PierreVLeBrun and @TSNBobMcKenzie discuss: https://t.co/kDxxo1FkTU pic.twitter.com/UzaxnocU6j— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 14, 2020
William Nylander is now in the top 20 in the entire NHL in goals, despite being a noted perimeter pla-
William Nylander scores his 20th goal of the season.— Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyNHL) January 15, 2020
16 have come from this net-front area, which is 2nd most by any player in the NHL. pic.twitter.com/QmOYH6wxjY
AROUND THE NHL
Niklas Backstrom signed a 5 year contract extension with the Washington Capitals.
Breakdown of Nicklas Backstrom contract:— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 14, 2020
Year 1, $6 M signing bonus and $6 M salary
Year 2, $5 M SB and $5 M salary
Year 3, $3 M SB and $3 M salary
Year 4, $5 M SB and $5 M salary
Year 5, $6 M SB and $2 M salary
So $25 M total in signing bonus money
Again, the AAV is $9.2 M
Ryan Donato was supposed to be a scratch for Minnesota, but they listed Greg Pateryn as a scratch instead. So Pateryn had to leave the game, and Donato ended up getting dressed and joined the bench giving them 13 forwards and 5 D. Donato did not take one shift in first period.— Adam Gretz (@AGretz) January 15, 2020
Tuuka Rask left the game vs Columbus last night and Cassidy confirmed post-game that it was due to a concussion after this play:
A look at the elbow that sent Tuukka Rask to the dressing room. pic.twitter.com/RzJlNBHEgg— Matt Castle (@Matt_Castle22) January 15, 2020
Calgary fans having fun at Edmonton’s expense:
One @NHLFlames fan appears to have raised enough money through a GoFundMe page to put billboards of Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk in Edmonton.https://t.co/0rZ2BlYDOM— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 14, 2020
Sidney Crosby is still unfair.
Jaw.— NHL (@NHL) January 15, 2020
Sidney Crosby is back with a vengeance, folks. pic.twitter.com/Brd98D8bga
Skills competition to feature players shooting pucks from stands | by Wysh at ESPN