Toronto media probes Leafs players for information on William Nylander

Dean Chaudhry
April 21, 2024  (4:15 PM)

William Nylander getting ready for a face-off
Photo credit: James Carey Lauder - USA Today Sports

William Nylander missed out on the all-important first game of the Leafs/Bruins series last night but it seems like mum's the word moving forward.

The players and the coaching staff in Toronto may be looking to take on Brad Treliving's whole "cone of silence" idea into effect when it comes to disclosing information about injuries.
Nylander's injury status continues to loom over the Toronto Maple Leafs like a dark cloud, especially after a tough 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins. The offense wasn't necessarily the problem, but they had issues converting on golden opportunities, something that Nylander could have surely helped with.
The Swedish-forward played in all 82 games this season and last night's contest was the first game he has missed since the 2021-22 campaign, so if he was unable to go in the first game of the series, that might tell you that something might be really troubling him.
We probably won't get much of anything out of the organization either as Sheldon Keefe and the coaching staff were approached by Brad Treliving before the playoffs and advised not to disclose too much information about injuries - if at all.
By the looks of it, the players are following suit as well, as evidenced by Calle Jarnkrok's comments from yesterday and Jake McCabe and Ryan Reaves' comments today:
NHL insider Chris Johnston tweeted out earlier today that Nylander partook in a "highly optional" skate in Boston this afternoon, indicating that it's the first time he's been on the ice since the regular season finale against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With Nylander being on the ice on Sunday, it remains unclear whether that means he's good to go for Game 2, but it's as good a sign as any at this current moment that he's progressing. Having him back in the lineup is of the utmost importance, so seeing him practicing - even at an optional skate - is a silver-lining.
Nylander really didn't struggle all too much during the 2023-24 season, outside of a 9-game stretch in the middle of the season where he tallied just 4 points. In his first 69 games, Nylander was just 7 points shy of 100. He had already bested his previous career-high in points (87) by 6 points and and had tied his career-best of 40 goals.
Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly, he slipped to the tune of 1 goal and 5 points in his last 13 games, was called out by his head coach, and looked completely out of touch; perhaps a sign that he was dealing with an injury well before the playoffs started.
One area where the Maple Leafs missed Nylander the most last night might have been on the special teams. Nylander remains a focal point on the power play but he has also made great strides on the penalty kill as well.
The Maple Leafs not only went 0/3 on the man advantage but they also allowed 2 power play goals. His creativity on both ends of the ice were missed and it's surely something the Bruins will look to exploit moving forward.
The Leafs outshot the Bruins 25-12 in the final 40 minutes but were also outscored 4-1. For the whole game, Toronto fired 36 shots towards Jeremy Swayman and only got it past the goaltender once thanks to David Kampf and the fourth line.
Auston Matthews had 5 shots on goal in 20:53, Mitch Marner had 2 shots on goal in 20:06, and John Tavares had 6 shots on goal in just 15:39. The Leafs are going to need a whole lot more and then some if Nylander does, in fact, miss Game 2 as well.
21 AVRIL   |   415 ANSWERS
Toronto media probes Leafs players for information on William Nylander

How do you feel about the Leafs running William Nylander on the 3rd line after giving him an $11.5M AAV on his 8-year extension?

I'm fine with it. It's the ice time that matters22253.5 %
Dumb decision to pay him that much11628 %
Dumb decision to play him that low in the lineup7718.6 %
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