The Toronto Maple Leafs held off a third-period push from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, claiming a 4-3 win. And they did so largely without the services of forward William Nylander. After logging 11 shifts through the first two periods of the tilt, Nylander skated just one shift in the third. The 21-year-old finished the night with 8:39 minutes of ice time, the lowest of his career. It’s unclear whether Nylander’s limited late-game ice time was due to injury or a message from head coach Mike Babcock. However, he was on the ice for Pittsburgh’s first goal of the game, reaching out and failing to disrupt a pass to eventual goal-scorer Riley Sheahan. Regardless of the reason, Nylander’s lack of shifts drew plenty of ire from the Leafs faithful, with many chiming in on social media to question the decision. Perhaps with good reason, as many pointed out that the young Swede has arguably done enough to earn a longer leash.
Nylander benched for third period of Leafs’ win over Penguins
Sportsnet | Dec 10