Nick Robertson getting his moment with the Maple Leafs
Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
By Jon Steitzer1 month ago
“New week, new me” seems to be the philosophy for the Maple Leafs. After struggling with secondary scoring the Leafs are potentially bringing in some firepower from the Marlies by recalling Nick Robertson.
Robertson has had a hot start for the Marlies this season. He’s picked up 5 goals, 11 points in 9 games for the AHL team this season and has been close to a point per game pace throughout the entirety of his time in the AHL. He’s likely too good for the AHL but hasn’t established himself at the NHL level with 7 points in his first 31 games. To make matters worse, Robertson has had about as unfortunate an injury history as you can get and he has seen each of his pro seasons significantly limited.
Robertson not only brings some additional scoring to the Leafs but he brings some pestiness that the Leafs might be missing since Michael Bunting’s departure. While Domi and Bertuzzi should be supplying some of that, it’s safe to say the results have been coming up short and Nick Robertson can hopefully help address the lack of “snot” the Leafs have been experiencing. Of course, at 5’10, there is probably a need for Robertson to be a bit more aware of the situations he puts himself in and acknowledge he hasn’t successfully come out of too many corners in one piece. It’s not about watering down Robertson’s game, it’s about being smarter and picking his spots. The skill and the motivation are there, it’s just a matter of getting it to click at the NHL level and some of that will also need to involve being smarter when away from the puck.
As for the demotion of Holmberg, with the intention to try Max Domi at centre and the Leafs moving David Kampf back to the fourth line, Toronto had an opportunity to try a forward in their lineup from the Marlies who wasn’t a centre. Holmberg is still likely viewed as the Leafs 5C, but he hasn’t stood out in the depth centre role like he did last season. I’m not sure you can put much on that on Holmberg as his linemates aren’t the same calibre as who he was working with last season either.
Given that the Leafs are only carrying 12 forwards at the moment it is likely that we see Nick Robertson in the Leafs lineup tonight against Tampa unless the Leafs go with 11F/7D. Given that Lajoie was already playing around 5 minutes a night on Saturday, it doesn’t seem likely the Leafs are going to be adding another defenseman just for the purpose of not playing them though.
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