After practice on Monday, Sheldon Keefe discussed the plan with Frederik Andersen, the status of his injured players, and Jack Campbell’s nomination for the Masterton Trophy.
Practice Lines – May 10
#Leafs working on their power play in this skills-based practice:
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You have all of your injured guys skating. How are you going to be able to get them into a game given the cap situation? What plans do you have with fitting in as many injured guys as you can?
Keefe: The first thing is that we need to get these guys healthy and ready to play games. That is the first step. We are not there yet with any of these guys.
In relation to Hyman and Nash, today is the first practice where they are available for contact, but the nature of our practice today with it being special teams, there wasn’t really any contact involved in special teams. Tomorrow would be a good step for them there.
Getting those guys healthy and ready to play games is the first thing, whether it is them or Fred. The salary cap stuff is a whole other beast that I don’t know much about. The number one thing is getting these guys ready to play games and cleared for that. We are not ready there yet.
What was the report you got out of Frederik Andersen? What is the outlook with him?
Keefe: He seemed very positive when I talked to him today. Going down and playing at the AHL level was about building up his workload, his conditioning, and things like that to prepare him to play at the NHL level. Now he has some practice time here to go through.
He is still not cleared and available to play at the NHL level here yet, but that is the goal — to get him back and going and feeling good. We’ll just continue to look at it and re-assess it based on his conversations with the medical team.
Jack Campbell seems to have adapted well to the bigger workload this year. Would you anticipate there being any learning curve with him if he gets into the NHL playoffs considering he hasn’t played in them yet?
Keefe: I really don’t think so. Especially from the goaltending position, the game is the same. The pucks, the traffic are arriving at the net with a little more frequency, perhaps, but a lot of the teams we played against in our division are heavy shot volume, heavy traffic teams. From a goaltending perspective, I don’t think the game changes a whole lot.
I think there are some things from a player standpoint with the physicality and such. That ramps up. But not so much from the goaltending position. For him, it is just a matter of staying focused and continuing to do the good things he has been.
Jack Campbell was nominated for the Masterton Trophy. Can you talk about his impact on the team?
Keefe: He is certainly deserving of that. It has been a terrific story for both him and our team to rally around. He has worked extremely hard to get himself to play regularly, succeed, put up terrific numbers, and set up organizational records and NHL records. It has been a terrific ride for him. It has been fun for us to be a part of it and to experience it with him.
From perspective, to see his growth from the time he came in and we acquired him LA… Last season, it was a messed-up season with the Covid situation. With his injury situation. this season, he has been dealing with that. With Frederik’s injury situation and him taking on the increased workload, he has just continued to grow through all of that. It has been really great to see.
What is Justin Holl’s status? Is it just a maintenance day?
Keefe: That is correct. He wasn’t out there today. It’s just a maintenance day for him. We will reassess him tomorrow and make a decision as to whether or not he will skate.
On special teams, you had the five forwards out there on the power play. Is it something you might consider in terms of a power play look?
Keefe: We were looking at different types of situations not specific to 5v3 — 5 on 3, 4 on 3, 6 on 5 type of stuff. Special situations is more of what we were working on today — stuff we haven’t had much time at at all to work at throughout the season. That is more what we were working on today. You tend to get different looks such as five forwards when you are looking at that stuff.
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