The prodigal son Nick Robertson has been recalled to the Toronto Maple Leafs main roster.
Since being sent back down to the Marlies by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Robertson has been on a tear; scoring 12 goals and seven assists in 17 games in the AHL.
Robertson wasn’t able to cement a role for himself with the big club his last time up as he struggled to earn ice time and rarely saw action above the fourth line. He has one point in nine games with the Leafs so far this season.
Let’s put this to bed: Robertson can’t just be thrown on the fourth line in the playoffs. If the Leafs are playing Tampa or Boston, that line needs to be big and punishing. Robertson is neither of those things. He’s a nice depth piece to bring along for the playoffs, and I would expect to see him on the postseason roster, albeit not a part of the starting lineup in round one.
However, we might see a new man tonight as the 20-year-old will be on the second line with John Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev. Before being sent down, the most ice time Robertson had in a game was 12 minutes and 38 seconds. Robertson’s injury history no doubt played a role in this as Sheldon Keefe clearly wanted to keep the training wheels on to ease Robertson in. Tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings should be a fun one.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings
After a somewhat successful road back-to-back against to Eastern Conference playoff teams, the Leafs are back at home for their penultimate home game of the season. Their opponent: the Detroit Red Wings.
The last time these teams met, 17 goals were scored and the Leafs blew a five goal lead. Fun times were had by all. The Leafs are 3-0-0 against Detroit this year and can sweep the season series with a win tonight. They will clinch home ice advantage in round one with only a point in tonight’s contest.
The Leafs gave this look at morning skate today:
I still don’t know what to think about Jake Muzzin. He hasn’t looked right since his first concussion this year and has looked downright scary since his second. If healthy he’s obviously a huge boost, but if he isn’t, Keefe needs to consider sitting him down. Perhaps for good.
We probably won’t see Michael Bunting again until game one of the postseason. He was skating today which bodes well. I don’t expect to see him or any other important pieces play against Boston on Friday.
Rasmus Sandin and Ondrej Kase also skated today with Sandin expected to play Friday and Kase still designated as day-to-day.
Jack Campbell is getting what will most likely be his final start of the regular season tonight. In other goaltending news, Petr Mrazek also practiced today. While Erik Kallgren is a great story, he’s not consistent enough to be relied upon as a number two playoff goalie. While Mrazek has his issues, if he’s healthy and mentally ready to go, he’s the better option to backup Jack Campbell for the remainder of this season.
The Red Wings have allowed five or more goals in two of their last three games. Expect a lot of shots from Auston Matthews tonight. He still needs two more goals to hit 60 on the season.