When the Toronto Maple Leafs sent forward Alex Galchenyuk from the taxi squad to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL Saturday, many felt that it was just to get a few games under his belt after having sat out since Feb. 11. That may not only be the case as Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan writes the Maple Leafs intend to properly develop Galchenyuk and his lost game.
Galchenyuk, the third-overall pick in 2012, has never played a game in the AHL, having jumped straight from the OHL to the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs would have sent Galchenyuk to the Marlies right after the trade. However, the AHL squad has been on an eight-game road trip and finally has their home opener on Monday. Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe said the team intends to be patient with Galchenyuk as they try to help the forward find his game.
“Part of our plan was to get him playing and we would have made this move probably a little bit sooner had the Marlies not been out west,” Keefe said.
- Sticking with the Maple Leafs, it looks like the team could be without star Auston Matthews for another game, according to TSN’s Mark Masters. The forward skated with the team Sunday in Edmonton, but didn’t skated as an extra and didn’t take any hard shots. However, Keefe didn’t rule out Matthews playing either, according to NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger. “He’s not ruled out for tomorrow,” said Keefe. Matthews missed Saturday’s game against the Oilers and now could miss Monday’s bout with them as well. If Matthews is out, John Tavares will fill in as the first-line center.
- No word on who will start in net on Monday for the Maple Leafs. Goaltender Frederik Andersen, who is dealing with a lower-body injury, was a full-participant in practice, but it’s not looking like he will play Monday, according to TSN’s Kristen Shilton. “Ah, it’s not looking that way, if we’re being honest,” said Keefe. “Basically, where we’re at now is just waiting for him to be comfortable … & we don’t really know when that’s going to be. But today was a very positive step towards that.” To make matters worse, Jack Campbell sat out of practice for a maintenance day after returning from a leg injury on Saturday. “Between Campbell and Fred and their situations, we’ve got a lot of things to sort through that I don’t suspect will get sorted out until tomorrow night,” Keefe said.