William Nylander only played 14 minutes in Sunday night’s 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers, but head coach Sheldon Keefe saw a much better performance out of his right winger a couple months of lagging play and one call-out in his press conference.
The icetime is not a consequence of a lighter role or an on-ice in the pants leading to better play from Nylander. In fact, Mitch Marner and the first line only played two more minutes than Nylander at 5v5. The real minutes-eating line in that game was the John Tavares, Ilya Mikheyev, and Alex Kerfoot second line. They ended up as the most played forward line by a significant margin.
What’s encouraging to me is how well Tavares played in that game against a team like Florida. That tactic of splitting him and Nylander up might be something we see in the first round. That said, I’d like to see Nylander be given more of a chance to produce beyond the power play if that is to be the case. Maybe with Robertson and a centre like Blackwell. That would be a fun line.
We won’t know what the lineup tonight against the Boston Bruins is going to look like in another pivotal Division matchup, but considering Boston’s offense and Nylander’s assumed dismissal from the doghouse, I expect we’ll see some regular lines again, with Keefe going back to the third line of Kämpf, Mikheyev, and Engvall he probably loves a little too much.
William Nylander's recorded a season-low ice time of 14:10 tonight.— David Alter (@dalter) March 28, 2022
Keefe: "I thought he was good today. I thought he worked. He was on the puck, had some chances, made some plays. I had no issues with Willy's game today."
Also ahead of tonight’s game, the Leafs have called up Kyle Clifford and Carl Dahlström from the AHL on an emergency basis. At forward, this is likely due to Nick Abruzzese not being available yet — either travel or not having had a practice with the team — and the team only having 12 forwards (the ones from Sunday night) available. On defense, there’s only six defenseman available to play, so Dahlström is presumably there as insurance as well. We’ll see tomorrow if anyone has any injuries and can’t go.
The Maple Leafs have recalled forward Kyle Clifford and defenceman Carl Dahlström on an emergency basis.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) March 29, 2022
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The Ottawa Senators announced on Monday that owner, Eugene Melnyk, has passed away suddenly at the age of 62 from an illness.
Melnyk founded Capital Sports and Entertainment, the company that saved the Ottawa Senators from bankruptcy, in 2003. The Senators reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2007, and made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017, as well. The team has made the playoffs in 16 of its 29 year history since expansion in 1992.
Melnyk was a Ukrainian-Canadian who worked hard to support his community. The Ottawa Senators published an obituary touching on the life of the businessman, philanthropist, and family man.
It is with great sadness that the family of Eugene Melnyk and the Ottawa Senators hockey organization announce his passing on March 28, 2022 after an illness he faced with determination and courage. https://t.co/MrHsTvu7sz pic.twitter.com/DOZrJcD26e— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 29, 2022
At the NHL Board of Governors meeting, the league is planning on implementing a “Playoff Cap” rule, that does exactly what you think it does — implement a salary cap in the playoffs so no team can take advantage of LTIR (or attempt to take advantage of LTIR if you’re the Vegas Golden Knights).
The #NHL GM Meetings are under way in Florida and @PierreVLeBrun, @reporterchris & @GinoRedaTSN examine the topics to be discussed, including Sheldon Kennedy’s Respect Group presentation, a playoff cap and the World Cup of Hockey: https://t.co/gHd5n5BqfL#TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/acNdvKM9i4— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) March 28, 2022
They’re also saving Auston Matthews some luggage fees by bringing the NHL Awards to Toronto the city hosting Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, rather than doing it at the end of the season. Matthews is in the running for the Rocket Richard, Hart Memorial, Ted Lindsay, Stanley Cup, and Conn Smythe trophies. How many does he win?
NHL Awards will be held the night before Game 3, or the off-day between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final — in the city hosting those games. One-hour event…definitely like the idea.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 28, 2022
How many major trophies does Auston Matthews take home this June?
|2 or fewer||200|
|3 or 4||41|
|5 or more||1|
|All! The! Trophies!||26|
|STOP JINXING US, HARDEV. YOU’VE DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE ALREADY!||144|