Leafs’ Latest: Keefe addresses post-game comments, Mrazek starts vs. Islanders
Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
By Nick Barden1 year ago
After a day off, the Maple Leafs are practicing one final time before their game in Long Island. It’s Toronto’s last game on the road before they start splitting games at home and away from the city.
It’s a later practice today in New York at 2PM, but it allowed the Maple Leafs to make some moves ahead of practice.
@Joey Anderson and @Carl Dahlstrom are two players who seem to have a bungee cord strapped to them with the amount of times they go up and down. They leave a Toronto Marlies team, who’s also close to the state of New York.
So, evidently, they made it to practice today.
Maple Leafs lines in New York
Both Anderson and Dahlstrom look to be in the lineup with the way the lines shape up today.
Each line remains the same, except for the four line and the third defence pairing. Coming onto the fourth line is Anderson, who had six points in his last three AHL games. Dahlström comes in for @Alex Biega, who didn’t have the best game on Wednesday night.
It looks like Dahlström will get his first game with the Maple Leafs on Saturday. He’s excited for the opportunity to play and has been “itching” for the chance, since joining the organization over the summer.
Still missing from the team is @Ondrej Kase and @Justin Holl. Sheldon Keefe said after Friday’s practice that both players are out of protocol and will join the team tomorrow.
The two aren’t expected to play against the New York Islanders.
Going back to Wednesday’s game, in which Keefe called it “soft and purposeless.” @Morgan Rielly spoke after practice, and agreed with Keefe saying he believes that Toronto’s defence core needs to take some of the responsibility for the recent losses.
@John Tavares also agrees that the team should be better.
After Friday’s practice, Keefe addressed the media, saying his belief in the Maple Leafs hasn’t changed, but the bar was far below normal on Wednesday.
With all of this being said, I expect Toronto to play an entirely different game on Saturday, which is in front of an Islanders crowd.
It’s a game the Maple Leafs will wake up for — for plenty of reasons. The main one being the history Islanders fans has with Tavares. The team around him will want to win that game, so expect a fiery performance.
Finally, the news you’ve all been waiting for — @Petr Mrazek will start on Saturday vs. the Islanders, Keefe said after practice.
This will be only the fifth game Mrázek has played in all season long. In the four games he’s played, the 29-year-old has two wins and two losses, while posting an .882 save percentage.
Although Mrázek’s numbers aren’t promising, him coming in allows some much needed rest for @Jack Campbell, who’s showing signs of fatigue.
It very well could be the start of the Maple Leafs running with Mrázek for the time being. Doing that will allow Campbell to heal some wounds, but it will also let Mrázek get some much needed games in.
The Maple Leafs play the New York Islanders on Saturday night at 7 PM ET.
Recent articles from Nick Barden