Leafs Practice Notes: Hyman out a minimum of two weeks, Mikheyev questionable, Sandin & Andersen return to practice

The Leafs returned to practice on Monday following a disappointing overtime loss to the embattled Vancouver Canucks who were playing their first game since March 24th due to a COVID outbreak. Losing out on the extra point in overtime seemed rather insignificant, however, as Zach Hyman was also lost to injury after taking a brutal knee on knee hit from Alexander Edler who earned a two game suspension for his troubles.
Sheldon Keefe revealed after practice that Hyman has suffered a sprained MCL that will keep him on the shelf for at least two weeks. Given the fact that he has already had this knee surgically repaired once, and how the hit looked, it could have been a lot worse.

TOR head coach Sheldon Keefe says Zach Hyman has a sprained MCL. Out at least two weeks. Probably as good news as they could get.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 19, 2021

Some alarm bells went off when William Nylander stepped onto the ice for practice in a grey sweater typically reserved for extras or members of the taxi squad, with Pierre Engvall and Adam Brooks shedding grey for regular white practice sweaters. Nylander ended up skating in his usual spot alongside John …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Alex Kerfoot suffers injury in practice, listed as day-to-day

The Leafs took to the ice for their second practice session of training camp on Tuesday with the same groups and lines as they had on day one, but there will likely be some alterations for Wednesday’s practice. Alex Kerfoot, who has been centering a third line featuring Ilya Mikheyev and Zach Hyman through the first two days of camp, suffered an unspecified injury on Tuesday and will be day-to-day according to head coach Sheldon Keefe.

Sheldon Keefe said Alex Kerfoot went down in practice, got a little banged up. Will be day-to-day from here, but doubtful he skates tomorrow.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 5, 2021

Keefe went on to say that someone from the second group would be called upon to fill Kerfoot’s spot in the coming days, which makes sense for a team that doesn’t want to be shuffling pieces around a whole lot while they work to establish chemistry in an abbreviated training camp.
The leading candidates to skate between Mikheyev and Hyman should Kerfoot have to miss any time would be Travis Boyd, a 27 year old center signed to one-year contract this past offseason, and Adam Brooks who played seven games for the Leafs …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Gauthier looks to be on the outside looking in as Leafs ready themselves to face the Habs

The mystery of where practice lines will come from has been solved. It appears that LeafsPR is perfectly capable of sending out the line rushes all by themselves, without the help of 20 or so Leafs beat writers.

Today’s @MapleLeafs practice lines and defensive pairings:
Nylander-Matthews-HymanMikheyev-Tavares-MarnerRobertson-Kerfoot-KapanenClifford-Engvall-SpezzaPetan-Gauthier-Malgin
Muzzin-HollRielly-CeciDermott-BarrieSandin-MarincinRosen-Liljegren#LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 27, 2020

For now it looks like Freddie Gauthier will not be the fourth line center to start the qualifying round, but the Leafs are able to dress 13 forwards and 7 defensemen for tomorrow night’s exhibition game against Montreal, and I’d expect that we’ll still see Gauthier in the lineup. Not so much for Petan and Malgin. Similarly, it’s likely that Sandin will make an appearance as the 7th defenseman, but if history has taught us anything, it’s never count out Martin Marincin.
Other than that, there aren’t any surprises to this lineup. It’s what we saw to close training camp. The Leafs are hellbent on seeing what Nylander can do on the left side, which could pay huge dividends for them even beyond this series.
Of course most eyes will be on the third …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Pierre Engvall replaces Frederik Gauthier on the fourth line

Saturday afternoon’s practice was the Leafs’ final tune-up before heading into the bubble to begin their quarantine at the Royal York Hotel. Sheldon Keefe only made one change to the lineup, and that was on the fourth line.

#Leafs lines at practice:
Nylander-Matthews-HymanMikheyev-Tavares-Marner Robertson-Kerfoot-KapanenClifford-Engvall-Spezza Gauthier
Rielly-CeciMuzzin-HollDermott-Barrie Sandin-Marincin
AndersenCampbell
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 25, 2020

Pierre Engvall, who saw Nick Robertson surpass him on the depth chart, now slots in between Kyle Clifford and Jason Spezza. It makes for quite an intriguing trio of players with different playstyles, providing Keefe with a new option for the bottom-six.
Meanwhile, Frederik Gauthier has not really stood out during training camp but provides value with his size, forechecking, and his prowess on the faceoff. Unfortunately for him, Engvall has the same height with a better upside offensively speaking and is a year younger. It will be interesting to see how the lines play out and where both Engvall and Gauthier will be placed on the roster.
According to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun, Keefe is still formalizing the makeup of the bottom-six, partially because of Robertson’s performance at camp. The lines above look close to what the Leafs …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / 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

Keefe’s Leafs Run a Unique Skills-Focused Practice

Yesterday, there was a bit of hubbub about the Leafs’ new practice style under Sheldon Keefe. It’s his first real opportunity to get a full practice session as the newest head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. His time has been limited thus far because of coming on board during a busy part of the schedule, as per Mark Masters:

Leafs will start practice with 20 minutes of skills work
Keefe’s only spent about 70 mins on the ice with the team so far (Thursday skate, Friday practice) so today’s his first real, full session
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) November 25, 2019

One of a few peculiarities was the astonishing number of coaches that the Leafs brought in to lead this training session. One of those was former-Leaf Nik Antropov as mentioned by Paul Hendrick:

Sheldon Keefe’s 1st home practice is on the Marlies sheet and includes development coaches totalling 8 including Nik Antropov. Rielly took part in the early part of the skate then left. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/ksfFwM7rvB
— Paul Hendrick (@HennyTweets) November 25, 2019

The practice took place at the Marlies facility, for reasons not apparent to me other than Keefe’s own familiarity with the place. While not noted above, it …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation