Connor Timmins + Nick Robertson Need To Be In Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Lineup

Timmins & Robertson Deserve To Be on Maple Leafs Playoff Roster
Timmins & Robertson Deserve To Be on Maple Leafs Playoff Roster / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Connor Timmins & Nick Robertson Need To Be In Maple Leafs Playoff Lineup

Let's start with Nick Robertson because I believe he is in the tougher situation of the two. Robertson has been trying to consistently crack this roster for two years now and at the start of this season, it looked like he would have a full-time spot on this team.

However, with the emergence of forwards Bobby McMann and Pontus Holmberg, Robertson again fell out of the rotation and was once again getting inconsistent ice time. Now, this is not to slight either McMann or Holmberg; they have been very productive since making the move up to the big club. But Robertson has been just as productive, if not more productive, when given the chance to get on the ice.

On the year, Robertson averages the second most goals and fifth most points among Maple Leafs per 60 minutes at five-on-five. Robertson is also outscoring four players at five-on-five on the Maple Leafs roster who have played more games than he has on the season.

The list of those players is as follows:

Nicholas Robertson - 21 Points in 52 Games Played
Bobby McMann - 21 Points in 52 Games Played
Calle Jarnkrok - 16 Points in 52 Games Played
David Kamph - 13 Points in 74 Games Played
Noah Gregor - 8 Points in 61 Games Played

The Maple Leafs aren't going to take McMann or Kampf out of the lineup, and Jarnkrok is battling injuries. But it is insane that Robertson lost ice time earlier in the year to Noah Gregor, who does nothing well but skate fast and throw hits.

Finally, we saw Robertson starting to get consistent ice time once Gregor started to get scratched more around mid-season, but by this time, Ryan Reaves was ready to start playing again.

Since then Robertson has been losing ice-time to a guy who has no impact on a hockey game outside of throwing a couple hits and the occasional fight to change momentum. The argument against Robertson is that he doesn't fit a third or fourth-line role due to his lack of size and defensive capability, but this could not be further from the truth this season.

Yes, Robertson is small there is no debating that, but to me, a players physicals should mean next to nothing when building a lineup. On the year, Robertson is averaging the second most takeaways per 60 minutes only behind Auston Matthews and averages the fourth most blocked shots at five-on-five among Leafs forwards.

Roberston has positively impacted the game at both ends of the ice this season. We are finally starting to see him blossom into the player fans thought he could be after the Maple Leafs drafted him in the second round of the 2019 NHL entry draft. It would be a shame if he continues to lose ice time to a guy who would be better off in a boxing ring than on an NHL roster.

The Toronto Maple Leafs just aren't good enough to be scratching a player of this quality.