Liljegren has 7 points in his last 5 games
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Timothy Liljegren credits one temmate with helping to drive up his recent offensive production

Published February 22, 2024 at 10:52

The Toronto Maple Leafs went a perfect 5-0 with Morgan Rielly serving his suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig in the head. With Rielly out, William Lagesson getting injured and Mark Giordano losing his father unexpectedly, head coach Sheldon Keefe was forced to give more playing time to the likes of Timothy Liljegren, Max Lajoie and rookie Marshall Rifai. All three have played well in Rielly's absence, but Liljegren seems to have found another level to his game.

With Rielly out, Liljegren has seen his ice-time jump from his season average of 19:22 to well over 20 minutes per game. Not only has Liljegren played very well on the top pairing with T.J. Brodie, but he has also filled in for Rielly on the top powerplay unit amassing 7 points in five games and helping the powerplay go 8 for 16. Following the Leafs' 6-3 win over Arizona last night, Liljegren was asked about his recent offensive explosion to which he offered a humorous response.

"Easy job: Just give it to Matty."

Liljegren elaborated more by saying that his confidence has been getting each game and he's been feeling good. The confidence he is playing with currently has not gone unnoticed either as Keefe echoed Liljegren's comments in his post-game media availability.

"He certainly has played well. You do see his confidence growing... Guys who have played more have played well and have done a good job to help stabilize the group."

With Reilly set to return tonight, it will be interesting to see how Keefe shakes up the defensive pairings. Surely, it will lead to difficult decisions with how well the group has played, but it will come as no surprise to see Rifai be replaced by Rielly.

February 22   |   631 answers
Timothy Liljegren credits one temmate with helping to drive up his recent offensive production

Has Timothy Liljegren met your expectations this season?

Yes, he continues to get better47775.6 %
No, he's still got a ways to go15424.4 %
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