Practice Shenanigans: Simmonds closer to return, Galchenyuk in the top six, Campbell participates in practice

Practice Shenanigans: Simmonds closer to return, Galchenyuk in the top six, Campbell participates in practice

In the wake of the Jimmy Vesey era coming to an abrupt end, today’s practice saw quite a lot happen and we may just see some changes to the lineup for this upcoming weekend.
First, it sounds like Wayne Simmonds is nearly set to make his return:

Both Wayne Simmonds and Alex Galchenyuk wearing regular sweaters as Leafs practice gets underway
(Defence starting on another pad)@TSN_Edge pic.twitter.com/GClhQRxSBd
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 17, 2021

Getting him back will be a huge boost to the Leafs lineup as they have surely missed his presence both on and off the ice. It also gives their power-play the net-front presence that was lacking in the six weeks he spent on the shelf. We don’t know for sure if Simmonds will be able to continue on his hot streak that had been put on pause by his injury, but he will no doubt bring new life to a team that desperately needs it right now.
The Alex Galchenyuk era begins
In the same aforementioned tweet, Galchenyuk participated in practice wearing a blue jersey, which indicates he will make his debut in the top six. He played well with the Marlies …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Trying to understand why Jimmy Vesey plays every night

Okay, so I went into looking at Jimmy Vesey’s stats fully expecting that there would be a huge difference between the eye test on him and the numbers. My eyes when it comes to Vesey are strained. Generally it’s hard to tell that he’s even in the lineup, but at some point he’ll find himself in the right position and he’ll create an opportunity, and then it serves to remind you about how you haven’t noticed him the rest of the time he was playing, which has been around 12 minutes a night.
Injuries to Simmonds, Thornton, Hyman, etc. have certainly made it easier to see why Vesey is the lineup right now, but the 12 minutes part still remains a bit perplexing, because, well, he hasn’t been good. And with Nic Petan showing that he can work well with Travis Boyd, and Jason Spezza, Alex Barabanov might be beginning to find his footing in the NHL as well, Alex Galchenyuk waiting to make his Leafs debut, and of course Nick Robertson and Joey Anderson sitting on the Marlies waiting for their next opportunity, it’s starting to hurt my brain trying to establish why …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Jimmy Vesey

Jimmy Vesey’s number is 17, which represents his career high in goals, a mark he hit twice while playing with the New York Rangers.
Now, 17 is not an eye-popping number, but it is a respectable number of goals. 17 goals would have been good enough for fifth on last year’s Maple Leafs team. It would have been good enough for eighth on the 2018/2019 Leafs, ahead of Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau. Last year, it would have edged out the likes of Brock Boeser, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Mitch Marner to name a few. So, no, while 17 goals the kind of production that can, say, make a player like William Nylander expendable, it’s still a more than acceptable contribution coming from one of your middle six wingers.

More @DarrenDreger on @Leafs_Lunch: “Had Toronto landed Jimmy Vesey, I would think Nylander probably would have been gone by now.”
— Leafs Lunch (@LeafsLunch1050) November 29, 2016

Herein, however, lies the issue. Jimmy Vesey did not score 17 goals in 2019/2020. He didn’t even come particularly close. As a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Jimmy Vesey finished his season with a total of 9 goals, failing to reach double digits for the first time in his …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation