Nylander reveals how he got his game back on track after rough patch that saw him demoted

Published April 20, 2022 at 1:23 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
For quite some time now, the narrative surrounding Leafs winger William Nylander is that he has a bit of a tendency to be a little bit on the lazy side, always taking the path of least resistance, rather than digging in and getting his hands dirty when he needs to.

While he doesn't approach the game with a chip on his shoulder or with a desire to play in the dirtiest areas, Nylander still finds plenty of ways to help his team win games. Stripping pucks, anticipating the stretch pass, finding passing seams in the offensive zone and remaining strong on the puck are just a few of the ways that Nylander makes up for his apparent unwillingness to put himself in harm's way for the good of the team.

Recently, Nylander went through a bit of a rough patch where he seemed a little more disengaged than usual. It eventually led to the 25-year-old being demoted to the team's third line, with the occasional 4th line shift splashed in for good measure to serve as a wake up call.

Lately, Nylander has been much better and now we know why. Nylander has revealed that he put some real effort into restoring his game to where it was when he was most successful. The Swedish winger took it upon himself to analyze some video of himself to pinpoint what was working well for him and what was hindering him from being as effective as he'd like to be.


Since that time, Nylander has worked his way back up to the Leafs' top six and has found a way to contribute on offense consistently, reaching a new career high in both goals and points. With 16 points over his last 10 games, Nylander appears to be elevating his game at the right time for the Buds.

The Leafs will look to finish strong over their final 5 games of the season and hopefully carry over some of that momentum into the playoffs. Nylander, who was the Leafs' best player in last year's playoff series against the Habs, will look to repeat his performance in 2022 against whoever is put in front of him. The Leafs lock horns with their most likely round one playoff opponent when they travel to Tampa to take on the Lightning on Thursday.

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