Pierre Engvall’s dominant season with the Leafs, and how he’s doing it

Pierre Engvall is having a season like he’s never had before in the NHL.
Splitting time between the Maple Leafs third and fourth line, the 25-year-old is finding his way to being a regular NHLer under Sheldon Keefe.
In 35 games this season, Engvall has 14 points — one shy of his career high — yet he’s (almost) done it in 13 less games. What’s most interesting is that he’s shooting at 6.8%, down from his past two seasons at just over 11%.
There could be more goals coming for the 25-year-old, especially if he continues to play with Wayne Simmonds.
Simmonds is currently among the league leaders at five-on-five for expected goals per 60 minutes with 1.23. He also has a low shooting percentage of 7.4% at five-on-five.
                   Five-on-five xG/60 leaders

With Ondrej Kase likely returning to the Maple Leafs’ lineup next game, Engvall will return to the fourth line with Simmonds and Jason Spezza. The low shooting percentage might help the line, who only has three goals for, score more.
Engvall, though, notices he’s having success, and attributes it to being more comfortable.
“I think I’m forechecking harder this year,” Engvall said before the Maple Leafs’ game vs. St. Louis. “I feel more comfortable in that area. And I mean, I’ve been switching up and down in the lineup, but I’ve been feeling comfortable with that.”
Engvall being comfortable is a good sign for Toronto. It seems as though he’s finding his role, which didn’t look like it was happening prior to this season.
Keefe has always been tough on the 25-year-old, and it seemed as though it was a good kind of tough. Tough love I’ll call it.
And since giving him that tough love, it’s allowed Engvall to have success in each role he’s been given.
“Really liked his game lately,” said Keefe af …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

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