The Leafs place Joe Thornton on LTIR

After Sheldon Keefe told the media that Joe Thronton will be out of action for a month due to a rib fracture, the Leafs made the move to place the 41-year-old forward on long-term injury reserve.

#Leafs placed F Joe Thornton on LTIR today.
This gave Toronto an additional $700,000 of relief in their Salary Pool that can be used during his absence.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) January 22, 2021

He is now the second Leaf this week to be placed on LTIR after doing the same for Nick Robertson on Thursday. Additionally, they will be without Auston Matthews who will sit out Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers and have their forward depth tested very early. Meaning the likes of Pierre Engvall and Adam Brooks will make their season debuts tonight.
In the third period, Thornton got hit by Josh Archibald and was in immediate discomfort. He went to the locker room afterwards and did not return.

here’s the hit that has sent joe thornton to the locker room
— zach laing (@zjlaing) January 21, 2021

In five games, Thornton has recorded a goal, and assist, and two points.
All …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs take on the Oilers tonight as the injury bug returns

Good morning Leafs Nation!

Sheldon Keefe confirms Auston Matthews it OUT tonight for #Leafs vs. Oilers. Upper body soreness. Day-to-day.
Joe Thornton has a rib fracture, will miss at least a month.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 22, 2021

What a great start to the day.
The Injury Bug
The big story for tonight’s game is the fact that two-thirds of the teams top line is out for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Auston Matthews is day-to-day with upper body soreness and Joe Thornton is out for at least a month with a rib fracture suffered last game. Nick Robertson is also on the shelf and was recently moved to LTIR, suggesting his injury might be a little more serious than initially thought.

Leafs are 20-12-2 without Auston Matthews, per @StatsCentre.
Date Injury AbsenceOct 2018 Shoulder 14 gamesFeb 2018 Shoulder 10 gamesDec 2017 UBI 6 gamesNov 2017 UBI 4 games
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 22, 2021

Rising to Occasion
On Wednesday, the Leafs post-game was filled with talks about how they focused “too much” on their game-plan of shutting down Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They felt as a result, it took away from their offensive game. Sheldon Keefe won’t have his shutdown line intact tonight. …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Nick Robertson will play in exhibition game vs. Montreal

During an appearance on TSN OverDrive, Sheldon Keefe dropped a bombshell that Leafs fans have been longing to hear.

Sheldon Keefe on OverDrive now on Nick Robertson’s lineup status for their exhibition game versus the Canadiens:
“He’ll be playing tomorrow”
— OverDrive (@OverDrive1050) July 27, 2020

With this announcement, Nick Robertson is now one step closer to appearing in the lineup for Game 1 of the play-in round against the Blue Jackets. While a lot can change between now and Sunday’s contest, this announcement has to feel good for him regardless.
It’s a well-deserved reward for what has been an impressive training camp for the 18-year-old, who made an appearance on the Leafs top line alongside Auston Matthews and William Nylander at one point. Based on the lines shared by Leafs PR, Robertson is projected to play on the third line with Alexander Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen.

Let it rip @nickrobertson01 #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 27, 2020

If you would like to hear the full segment on OverDrive with Keefe, click here.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Sitting Andersen tonight would be the right call.

Sheldon Keefe stated earlier today that the Leafs had a number of game time decisions they were planning to make on banged up players heading into tonight’s game with the Chicago Blackhawks. This is interesting for a few reasons.
The main reason being that this is the Leafs final game before beginning their bye week heading into the All-Star break. That’s right, tonight is your last chance to see the Leafs until January 27th.
The decision would obviously allow some players the chance to heal up. With Rielly and Muzzin already out on the blueline, risking further extended absences seems like a bad idea, and the imagine of Travis Dermott shaking off a shot block against Calgary is still pretty fresh in my head. If the Leafs pull a defenseman out of the lineup it’s also a chance to see Timothy Liljegren in a Leafs uniform, which is something we should all be excited for.
It is likely a large number of the players who have been called up from the Marlies are about to spend the Leafs bye week in the AHL, and Liljegren will certainly be one of them, but he’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs are dangerously close to being healthy and what that means for your favourite fringe NHLer

Keefe liked the look of Marner at practice today:
“Based on his performance, doesn’t look like it’s too far away”
Dubas said the hope is Mitch will return “in coming days”
Eligible to come off IR on Wednesday (v COL) … the next game is Saturday (@ STL)
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 2, 2019
Over the past five games the Leafs have successfully started making a case for their playoff chances and if that wasn’t impressive enough, they did that without the help of Mitchell Marner (Mitch for short.)
The return of Mitch Marner can only be viewed as good news, unless you are one of the players barely hanging onto a roster spot. We’ve been down this road before. When Hyman, Tavares, and Dermott were all returning the Leafs had to consider what their roster would look like with 19 skaters and 2 goaltenders, and a final decision was avoided at that time largely because of the Marner injury.
We received a small preview of what the decision would be as Martin Marincin and Nic Petan were both waived and sent down. Both would return, and Marincin has been sent down once more before he required waivers again. Nic Petan has …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

5 Thoughts on the Leafs first loss in the Sheldon Keefe era

Fire Keefe, am I right?
But seriously, we witnessed the first bad game in the Sheldon Keefe era, and it wasn’t even a bad game. They just had a really bad second period, and it ended up costing them the win this afternoon.
Let’s look at some of the biggest notes from today’s game.
John Tavares loves Buffalo
It should’ve been a sign from the beginning that Tavares was meant to be a Toronto Maple Leaf. Not just the fact that they were his boyhood team, but also the fact that even with the Islanders, he loved scoring on the Buffalo Sabres.
Tavares’ 38 points in 31 games against the Sabres is his third highest point total against a single team, with the other two being the Hurricanes (44 points in 37 games) and the Rangers (41 points in 46 games), both teams played in the same division as Tavares for most of his career. Keeping in mind games played as well, and it’s his best output of the three (I’m not calculating his points per game against every team to confirm this).
Not to mention his 20 goals against the Sabres are the second highest against a single team (again, …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Post-Game #26: 5 Takeaways vs. the Red Wings

This Sheldon Keefe guy is alright, eh?

Sheldon Keefe on starting 3-0-0: “It’s better than the alternative.”
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) November 28, 2019

I’ve never seen so many gifs on twitter of smiling players, either. The Maple Leafs came flying out of the gate and potted 3 goals in the first 10  minutes on Jimmy Howard, who started the game after Jonathan Bernier became ill in warmup. Unfortunately for Detroit, Howard seemed to have some discomfort on the play where Tavares scored, and the emergency backup alarm was raised:

Tyson Barrie, on what the Leafs were thinking when Jimmy Howard went down with injury: “We heard (Jonathan Bernier) had the flu or something and we thought we might be seeing a (Scott) Foster or one of those guys come in. We were getting a little excited.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 28, 2019

Much to the displeasure of chaos enthusiasts, Bernier knocked back a Pepto Bismol and went to work. Whether or not Bernier was experiencing Luongo-like symptoms, he had a great performance, stopping 37 of 40 shots in relief. Detroit only managed to hit Frederik Andersen 25 times, securing the shutout in full, unadulterated “f*ck you” Freddy mode.

Frederik Andersen. Sprawling but still makes the …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

What Sheldon Keefe Can Bring as Maple Leafs Head Coach

Mike Babcock is out. Sheldon Keefe is in. Things move fast in this wacky world we call hockey. Try to keep up.

The Keefes Nation aha
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) November 21, 2019

The aftermath of Babcock’s dismissal will be filled mostly with eulogies, the majority of which seek to tie a neat little bow around his tenure in Toronto. And that’s entirely warranted. Babcock led the Leafs out of what was perhaps the most cavernous hole in franchise history upon taking over in 2015 and turned them into a perennial 100-point outfit. That can never be taken away from him.
But times change. And when Babcock didn’t, the other shoe was bound to drop.
Sheldon Keefe is the man of the hour now. And after biding his time in the Leafs organization for nearly the past half-decade, the former Marlies bench boss holds the opportunity to put his definitive stamp on an NHL roster.
Which begs the question: What does that look like?
In covering the Marlies for the past three years, I’ve been able to observe a number of Keefe’s coaching habits applied within a system largely reflective of the level above. Here are a few …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation