William Nylander Trending Towards Playing in Game 3

The Maple Leafs look to be getting one of their top scorers back in the line-up for Game 3
Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils
Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs are preparing for Game 3 and if there is any indication from the line rushes in the morning skate it appears that William Nylander just may be back in the line-up in a pivotal game at home.

Through the first two games of the series the Toronto Maple Leafs have been without their high scoring winger, so if he is back in the line-up for the game he would be a huge addition to the team.

Nylander played all 82-games of the regular season recording his second consecutive 40-goal season despite going goalless in his final eleven games of the season where he registered just four assists.

During Wednesday morning's line rushes Nylander was skating on the right side on an all Swedish trio with Calle Järnkrok and Pontus Holmberg. The fact he had taken Nick Robertson's spot on the line on the morning before the game leads me to believe he will likely be dressing for the game.

William Nylander Trending Towards Playing in Game 3

Noticeably absent from the skate was Auston Matthews who many are saying is coming off one of the best games of his career where he contributed to all three goals including scoring the game winner and registering the primary assist on both other goals.

The now three-time Rocket Trophy winner played a complete game and was dominant each time he was out on the ice, as well as dishing out six hits with the highlight being when he tossed Brad Marchand to the ice.

It does not appear there is any cause for concern as Elliotte Friedeman revealed that Matthews took the option to rest before the game, while David Alter reported that coach Sheldon Keefe stated "Just decided to keep him off (the ice).. He just took the option, he'll be good to go tonight."

Robertson was taking the line rushes in between Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi in place of Matthews which further leads fans to believe that Robertson is likely the odd man out.

The 5'9" forward has played well in limited action through the first two games and had been completely robbed of goals in each of the contests, however, with Keefe giving him under eight minutes of ice-time in the last game the writing was on the wall when Nylander returned.

Many objective observers will be quick to state that Ryan Reaves should come out of the line-up, but I would say outside of the one blunder in the first game that led to the opening goal of the series he has been pretty good. The fourth line is winning the majority of the minutes and Reaves is a big impact on that as he has been dishing out heavy body checks which has put pressure on the Bruins defense.

With the current construction of the line-up, it is likely Robertson or Matthew Knies will have to battle for the last spot, which would become even more competitive once Bobby McMann gets healthy.


The positive with this is that the team has not had this much depth during the Marner/Matthews era.