Maple Leafs’ Nylander has a chance to play in Game 3, Matthews will be in lineup

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe provides the latest update on William Nylander ahead of Game 3, and discusses how the team adjusted performing without their star player.

TORONTO — The mystery surrounding William Nylander‘s readiness to participate in the playoffs has made the trip from Boston to Toronto.

“There’s a chance,” Maple Leafs head coach announced Wednesday, that the star forward suits up for Game 3 at Scotiabank Arena.

But that chance depends on “how he responds” to his morning skate.

For a second game morning, Nylander was a full participant in the club’s skate. This time he was more involved in reps with projected linemates Pontus Holmberg and Calle Järnkrok.

That Nylander remained on the ice for extra work with the Leafs’ scratches, and that Nick Robertson came off early, however, casts doubt on his availability.

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“I’ve been asked the question a couple of times about how we adjust without Willy — you really don’t. You just keep pressing on. Our game plan when he comes back in the lineup doesn’t change,” said Keefe, who otherwise projects to stick with the same lineup that won Game 2.

“The Holmberg line and the [David] Kämpf line have given us really good minutes, and that’s really important, because you can only lean on your top guys so much. You need the depth to come through.”

Nylander appeared in all 82 games for Toronto this season, scoring 40 goals and 98 points. An undisclosed injury has prevented him from making his 2024 playoff debut.

Auston Matthews skipped an otherwise fully attended morning skate to rest up, but Keefe assured Game 2’s first star will be in the lineup.

Despite requests, the Maple Leafs did not make Nylander available to reporters.

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