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Training Camp – Day #14, Robertson Bolsters Case In Win Over Habs

October 4, 2022, 8:59 PM ET [1 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs may have clarified some of their roster dilemmas in a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Monday, Winger Nick Robertson solidified his bid to make the opening night roster with three assists and Matt Murray continued his impressive exhibition season with 29 saves.

William Nylander and Alex Kerfoot each scored twice, and Zach Aston-Reese added a goal for Toronto, who move to 4-1 and finish off the preseason with a home-and-home against Detroit starting on Friday.

Robertson did not seem out of place on a second line with Kerfoot and Nylander, setting up Nylander’s second goal of the game early in the second period and both Kerfoot goals in the third.

“I thought Nick had another good day today, he was moving his feet and he was competing, he’s on the puck, creating turnovers, making good decisions with the puck,” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said after the game. “Whether that's to make a play, whether it's to shoot it, whether that's to put it to a good spot and let somebody else get after it and protect it. He is just playing really good hockey right now.
He's doing things that he needs to do to show that he's wanting a spot on the team and he's ready to play in the NHL. As he continues to stack these games up, of course we're paying attention to that.”

With the likelihood that both John Tavares and Pierre Engvall will not be available to start the season, it appears likely that Robertson has earned a spot on the roster to start the year, but whether that is a permanent thing will be based on his performance early in the season before the injured players are ready to return.

Aston-Reese furthered his bid to earn an NHL contract with a goal and a hard hit on 2022 top pick Juraj Slafkovsky that resulted in a minor penalty for boarding.

"A guy right from day one that he's arrived in camp, that he's knows who he is. That just does his job." Keefe said. "He's competitive. He's on the right side of the puck all the time. He's doing what he can to help the team learn and give himself a chance to succeed and, and grab a hold of a role here. So I've been really happy with him. A couple times tonight maybe forced the issue a little bit, which is a little out of character for him, but by and large, he's really just done a nice job."

The club had a day off on Tuesday and are traveling to Gravenhurst, ON for a couple days of team building before completing the exhibition schedule in Detroit on Friday and at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.


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