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Timothy Liljegren will remain in the Maple Leafs lineup.


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Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe hinted Saturday morning that he might not get the defender out after watching him that night against the Detroit Red Wings, depending on the 22-year-old’s game.

Sure enough, Liljegren had a solid game with teammate Rasmus Sandin in Toronto’s win and will get another shot at the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

Justin Holl will be a healthy scratch again.

What does Keefe see in the play of Liljegren, who stepped on his shoulders in camp to make a dent in the Leafs roster after spending most of the past four seasons with the Toronto Marlies?

“It’s just more confidence,” Keefe said. Confidence when entering battles, when approaching cover, with the puck in the offensive zone.


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“Those are the things you’re really looking for: is he finishing plays defensively, is he keeping plays moving offensively? I thought you did a good job with it, so we want to give it another shot.

“It’s tough when you go in and out of the lineup and you’re sitting for long periods. We acknowledge that. I feel like another chance to stay has been earned. “

The game against Las Vegas will mark Liljegren’s fourth this season and 17th in the National Hockey League.

Liljegren has had to sharpen her thinking since making her NHL debut in 2019-20.

“It’s just okay to make an easy play,” Liljegren said. “Down with the Marlies, you always want to make good plays.

“Here, it’s more about getting the puck to the forwards and trying to spend as much time as possible in zone O. As you get older, you mature and that’s part of that too.


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“I feel good. I’m just trying to do my best. My strength is my skating and my space control. Other things will come.”

Holl understands why he was pulled out of the lineup.

“It might be better to kill plays through the neutral zone, which is usually my main strength and something I will come back to,” Holl said. “And some things in the offensive zone too (may be better), they just help the offense get going and stay on offense.

“It’s disappointing every time you’re not competing with the guys, it’s frustrating, but all you can do is control and have faith in your abilities.”

Holl said an illness that kept him out of a game on Oct. 16 should not be used as an excuse.

“I don’t think that had much to do with (his bad game),” Holl said. “It’s something that was happening at the time and it kept me out of a game, but I felt pretty good physically.”


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Six games after his return from offseason wrist surgery, Auston Matthews has found no personal satisfaction.

“Physically, I feel like I’m back in shape,” said Matthews. “I think my rhythm and everything is coming back.

Touching and feeling is still a work in progress. I’m just trying to take advantage of some of these opportunities that I have.

“I hope one falls and hopefully starts rolling. They come, it’s frustrating when they don’t come in, but I have to keep working and keep having those opportunities and take advantage of them.

“(His shot) feels close. As for precision, it’s not where I want it to be, but you can work on a lot of those things in practice. “

Matthews is stuck on a goal, which came last Monday in Carolina, but has been around the opposition net a lot.


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Despite playing three games fewer than most of his Leafs teammates, Matthews is fourth on the team with 25 shots on goal. His 15 missed shots are a team record, but so is his 62% possession.


Keefe continues to manage the workload of its porters.

On Monday, Petr Mrazek, who won in his first outing on Saturday after recovering from a groin injury suffered in the second game of the season, participated in a pre-practice session but then left the ice.

The Leafs have also given Jack Campbell a break from practice in recent weeks.

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No recent losses here

Each team feels good about itself, relatively speaking. The Maple Leafs have won two in a row, while the Golden Knights have won their last three after winning once in their first five games. “Every time you come to Toronto, a lot of things happen, a lot of guys from the area,” Las Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “Where do you start (with the Leafs)? A dangerous team and a little injured, which means that the coach has their attention ”.


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John Tavares 9 3 4 7 -1

William Nylander 9 3 3 6-3

Jason Spezza 9 3 2 5 -1



Chandler Stephenson 8 4 5 9 +3

Jonathan Marchessault 8 2 2 4-5

Reilly Smith 8 2 2 4-3


Power play

VGK: 0% (32º)

TARGET: 14.8% (26th)

Death penalty

VGK: 84.2% (12th)

TOR: 82.8% (16th)


1. We’re not going to see anything close to a full Las Vegas lineup, as all-round players Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alex Tuch, Nolan Patrick, Mattias Janmark and William Karlsson and Zach Whitecloud are recovering from injuries. Still, the Leafs were hoping the Golden Knights would bring their usual sonic work ethic. Keep an eye out for Michael Amadio, claimed last week out of Toronto’s waivers.


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2. The expectation is that Robin Lehner gets the go-ahead on the net for Las Vegas. He has won his last two games and would look to improve a solid career save percentage (.925) in 12 games against the Leafs. Against Toronto, Lehner is 6-5-0 with a shutout.

3. In their first game in a four-game trip, the Golden Knights will try to achieve a first for the franchise. They have not won in any of their three previous visits to Toronto, losing in a shootout, in regulation time and in overtime. To possibly help this time around, the club arrived on Saturday, had a day off on Sunday, and practiced on Monday.

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