Did Sheldon Keefe just tip his hand about William Nylander's return?

Mike Armenti
April 23, 2024  (12:38)

William Nylander handles a puck during warmups
Photo credit: Maple Leafs on Twitter/X

Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe shared some encouraging news on Tuesday regarding the team's 2nd-leading scorer William Nylander.

The Leafs had to go without Nylander in Games 1 and 2 of their 1st round series against the Boston Bruins, but according to Sheldon Keefe, there's been some progress in that front.

Did Sheldon Keefe suggest that Nylander could play in Game 3?

Keefe spoke with the media on Tuesday morning at his hotel in Boston before flying back home to Toronto, and while he didn't confirm Nylander would make his return in Game 3, he implied that it's a very good possibility that he does, while doing his best to avoid any certainties.
"Obviously no update today, because not much happening for us here today except for getting ready to travel. But he's a possibility for us tomorrow, I guess, is all we would say."
-Sheldon Keefe on Nylander's availability for Wednesday's Game 3

We've seen coaches play things like this down in the past. The Leafs have been very tight-lipped about Nylander this past week, so it's no surprise to hear Keefe opt out of giving any confirmations. However, the fact that he didn't shut down the idea of Nylander playing could indicate that he's more likely than not to return to action for Game 3.
The Leafs have acquitted themselves fairly well against the Bruins thus far without Nylander in the lineup, knotting the series up at 1 game apiece last night, stealing home ice away from the Bruins in the series.
There's no question that a healthy Nylander would provide the Leafs with an enormous boost in Game 3. However, until the game day skate tomorrow, it appears that we'll have no confirmation.
23 AVRIL   |   413 ANSWERS
Did Sheldon Keefe just tip his hand about William Nylander's return?

If William Nylander was healthy, do you think the Leafs would be up 2-0 on Boston right now in the series?

Yes, a healthy Nylander is a difference-maker13532.7 %
No, it would still be 1-122654.7 %
For all we know, it could be 2-0 Boston5212.6 %
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