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Teammates react to Kerfoot and Jarnkrok taking shifts on defense on Wednesday


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Ryan Smitheram
September 29, 2022  (9:15)
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Last night was a unique experience for Alex Kerfoot and Calle Jarnkrok as the Leafs went down to four defencemen early in the second period after losing both Jordie Benn and Carl Dahlstrom to injuries. That forced the Leafs to move a couple of forwards back to limit the minutes played by Mark Giordano, Victor Mete, TJ Brodie and Morgan Rielly. Those two lucky forwards were Kerfoot and Jarnkrok and to everyone's surprise, they handled the assignment pretty well.

Post-game, players had some fun when asked about how Kerfoot and Jarnkrok did as defenders. For starters, Keefe said, "That's a positive to come out of it, we have two guys now that feel a little more confident back there... As a coach, I had a little fun tonight, to be honest."
"Kerf and Calle did a heck of a job back there. Made it look at little too easy honestly, made us look bad a little bit," joked Rielly when he was asked about their performance.
Posting a 40 minute shutout in his Leafs debut Matt Murray was impressed with Kerfoot and Jarnkrok saying, "They were making reads, making breakout passes, I can't believe how seamless they stepped into it. It was pretty impressive on their part."
When asked about their experience playing defence, both Kerfoot and Jarnkrok admitted they had never played it before, but said, "It was fun." Kerfoot also said, "It's not too different being the centerman or low forward defensively, I was just trying to limit the amount of times I had to skate backwards."
The injuries are piling up for the Leafs as we reach the halfway point in training camp. In addition to losing Benn and Dahlstrom last night, Pierre Engvall has yet to join the main group and will have his ankle and foot re-evaluated on October 3. Jake Muzzin joined the main group yesterday for a brief skate, but is still dealing with back issues, while Timothy Liljegren is out until November at the earliest after undergoing hernia surgery last week.
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Teammates react to Kerfoot and Jarnkrok taking shifts on defense on Wednesday

Were you surprised with how well Kerfoot and Jarnkrok played on defense?

Yes6762 %
No4138 %
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