We’ve all seen the clip of Maple Leafs forward William Nylander going into the corner with Lightning defenceman Erik Cernak and not going in for a hit.
And if you haven’t, well, here it is.
William Nylander: soft pic.twitter.com/HyXGQEQ3o3
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) May 9, 2022
Many were upset about this because a few weeks later he was throwing his body around with Sweden at the World Championships. Why didn’t Nylander do it in the playoffs? Why did he only throw big hits for his home country?
First things first, the 26-year-old is throwing his body around against Team Latvia — a team with two NHLers (one being Elvis Merzlikins) and two AHL players, including Kristians Rubins.
There’s a clear-cut difference between going into the corner with a back-to-back Stanley Cup defenceman, who by the way is six-foot-three and weighs 230 pounds vs. a non-NHL player on Latvia. Obviously, Nylander still should’ve thrown his body at Cernak, but I believe I know why he didn’t.
If you go back and watch the clip, you’ll be able to see that the puck rolls off the 26-year-old’s stick just before he reaches the centre-ice line. It’s likely that he believes this was going to be called back for icing, which is why he didn’t put maximum effort into getting the puck.
Many players do this. They think it’s going to be icing, so they slow down, when in reality there’s no call. You then have to get going again to try and get the puck. He does that at the end of the clip.
A lot of this judgement between that situation and throwing his body around at the World Championships is just because his name is William Nylander. If this was Auston Matthews, but he still had nine points in seven games, would fans be this upset? N …
Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation