Sheldon Keefe addresses the media in Toronto
Photo credit: NHL

Leafs head coach reveals that we may have a surprise addition to tonight's lineup

Published January 9, 2024 at 11:39
BY MIKE ARMENTI

The San Jose Sharks are in town to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will take to the ice at Scotiabank Arena for the first time in 2024 tonight. With the Leafs coming off of a 4-1 win in San Jose on Saturday, they'll hope to keep up the momentum against the Pacific Division bottom-feeder, but according to Sheldon Keefe, the Leafs may not be able to ice the same roster tonight.

During practice on Monday, the Leafs had Ryan Reaves and Nicholas Robertson skating as extras. However, it would appear as though one of them may get back into game action tonight, thanks to a nasty flu bug going around the locker room again. Sheldon told the media following Tuesday's morning skate that Robertson may draw back in as a result.

Robertson has taken some important steps this season, most notably by having displayed his ability to remain healthy for the first time as a pro. That isn't enough for Keefe and company, though, as the Leafs are very much in win now mode and require everyone to be firing on all cylinders on a consistent basis. Robertson, with his 5 goals and 6 assists in 24 games, has been anything but consistent.

"I think he has shown that he can play in the league. Also, I don't know that he's really fully separated himself from the pack. That's the next piece. I've talked to him about importance of taking care of the puck and being able to execute plays." - Keefe on the play of Robertson this season



Keefe is looking for guys to come in and grab ahold of a job. Earlier this season, we saw rookie sensation Fraser Minten win a spot out of camp and then almost immediately returned to his junior club when he wasn't able to produce after 4 games. Robertson has received a lot more leash before finally being scratched, so if he does get into tonight's game, he'll have to put together a strong game to avoid heading right back to the press box later this week.



POLL
January 9   |   1059 answers
Leafs head coach reveals that we may have a surprise addition to tonight's lineup

Do you think Nick Robertson is a full-time NHLer?

Yes, Keefe is messing up by not playing him45442.9 %
No, he's an AHL/NHL tweener35133.1 %
No, he's an AHLer767.2 %
Really not sure17816.8 %
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