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Nylander ‘looked great’ during practice, Game 4 status to be determined

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Photo credit:Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
1 month ago
Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander may be returning to action after missing the first three games of the first-round series against the Boston Bruins. Nylander practiced Friday but his status remains to be determined before Saturday’s Game 4.
“Looked great to me on the ice. In terms of his status, we’ll have to determine that tomorrow,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said of Nylander via TSN’s Mark Masters.
Nylander was made publicly available for the first time since his injury-related absences but declined to expand on his injury.
“Look, that’s just personal, so I’m not going to get into that. But anything else you guys want to discuss,” Nylander said via Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun.
Nylander played in all 82 regular season games, recording a career-best 98 points while securing a contract extension. He missed last Thursday’s practice with a previously undisclosed injury and Keefe told reporters he was under instruction from general manager Brad Treliving not to reveal further details.
The Nation Network’s Nick Alberga reported that Nylander was believed to be dealing with a head injury. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman followed up, reporting that Nylander was tested for a concussion but is believed to be dealing with a migraine, according to several sources.
Nylander was placed alongside Pontus Holmberg and Calle Jarnkrok, while taking reps on the team’s first power play unit. Toronto’s special teams failures — particularly on the power play — have swung the balance of the series and Nylander’s zone entries, along with his superior shooting will certainly elevate the team’s top group.
Toronto’s star winger told reporters he doesn’t anticipate any challenges upon returning to the lineup because he has been skating throughout the week.
In other news, Auston Matthews was granted a maintenance day. Matthews reportedly played through illness in Game 3, but he’s been Toronto’s best player through three games. Connor Dewar — who may be scratched for Game 4 if Nylander returns — took Matthews’ place on the top line alongside Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi.
Ilya Lyubushkin was granted parental leave as he’s welcoming his new daughter into the world. Congratulations to Lyubushkin and his family! TJ Brodie will likely factor into the lineup for Game 4 while Lyubushkin spends some much-needed time with his family.

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