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William Nylander absent from Maple Leafs playing team due to painful migraines: Report – Toronto Sun Achi-News

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William Nylander absent from Maple Leafs playing team due to painful migraines: Report – Toronto Sun


Achi news desk-

TORONTO – Brad Marchand has two goals and four assists in Round 1. Marchand’s output includes the decisive strikeout and an empty netter in the Boston Bruins’ 4-2 Game 3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

But zero is the statistic that has caught Sheldon Keefe’s eye the most. As in no penalty minutes through three games.

Given Marchand’s reputation and his insistence on being in the fight, Keefe finds that number incomprehensible.

“A world-class player, in terms of ability and how he plays – the craft and everything,” the Leafs coach said. “It’s world class. He has been in the league long enough. As you can see, he gets calls. It’s unbelievable, really, how it goes. You have to play through that. You have to play through that stuff.

“I don’t think there is another player in this series who gets away with pulling Bertuzzi’s legs out (Tyler) like he does. There is no other player in this series who gets away with that. But it does. It’s an art. He’s elite.”

In the second period, almost everyone in Scotiabank Arena watched Marchand and Bertuzzi, former members of the team and their friends, as they jousted and jabbed and cut their way up and down the ice. Ilya Samsonov must be among them. Otherwise, there is no explanation as to how the Toronto goalie broke Trent Frederic’s shot from outside the left side dot, making it a 1-1 game.

Marchand has made a career out of getting people’s attention.

“He wants to get under our skin and influence the directions,” Matthew Knies told reporters. “So I think we have to be constitutional and not kind of go into that bulls—. Play hard and do it (less) effectively.”

It won’t serve the Leafs well to keep Marchand’s emotions burning. He thrives on conflict. It makes him a better player and leader. Marchand loves it when the temperature rises.

“The games for him when he’s at his best are when there’s a cluster around him during the game,” teammate Jake DeBrusk said. “Sometimes even before or after. When he gets into his ‘little ball of hate’ mode, good things usually happen for the team.”

In Marchand’s view, his second term contact with Bertuzzi was the only time he could have approached a disciplinary line. Otherwise, the captain has tried to keep his nose clean. By now, he knows he can’t afford to lose his cool.

“Bert and I tie one shift,” Marchand said. “But outside of that, I’m not really in the mix with anything. I’m just trying to play, and play a good team game. At this time of year, it gets so emotional. I’m an emotional player.”

Marchand’s juices started pumping early. At the Bruins’ morning skate, coach Jim Montgomery noticed how Marchand was barking before the team’s first drill.

“Just excited,” Marchand said of his arrival in the morning. “She hasn’t given you the chance to get the chance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It all woke up with the gratitude and the understanding that it is a gift to play in this league.”

Marchand’s duel with Bertuzzi, and Frederic’s goal, elevated the Bruins. He saved his best for last.

Early in the third, while Bertuzzi was in the box for a foul, Marchand did the dirty work to produce the goal in front. Marchand took the puck off the right side wall and walked it towards the net. Samsonov got his glove on Marchand’s hit. But DeBrusk was there to put in the rebound and give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

Bertuzzi tied the game midway through the third when he deflected Morgan Rielly’s slap pass past Jeremy Swayman. But 28 seconds later, Marchand struck back.

With the home crowd roaring after Bertuzzi’s goal, Frederic and Danton Heinen went to work low on the forward. Heinen came out with the puck. Marchand floated to the right faceoff dot. When Heinen came out of the fight and looked up, Marchand was exposed in front of him. The captain managed to put a lifter over Samsonov’s glove to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead.

“Every way possible,” Charlie Coyle said of how Marchand set the tone for Game 3. “His play? Yeah, that’s one, chip it scoring-wise. But struggle, just not reserve. His leadership on the bench, too. The way he talks and the way he keeps us involved in what we need to do in that particular situation whenever we need to, he’s always on top of it. So it goes beyond his play on the ice, which was exceptional tonight.”

Marchand finished the night with an empty net goal. It gave him 55 career second chance goals, tying Cam Neely as the franchise leader.

“Hopefully, there’s a lot more in the tank,” Marchand said. “But to be in the company with a guy like that, who is one of the most talented goal scorers in the history of our franchise and the game, is pretty special.”

Keefe’s criticism, with praise, could convince Game 4 officials to keep a close eye on Marchand. The captain won’t mind. He enjoys being in her midst.

“There’s a burning intensity in him to win,” Montgomery said. “He doesn’t care what just happened. Good or bad. He’s on to what’s next.”

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