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Kampf, Kase burrowing themselves in Leafs coach’s good books … Game Night Sabres

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Sheldon Keefe is happy with the belief issue that’s being constructed not solely between David Kampf and Ondrej Kase, however between the third-line duo and the teaching employees.

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“I used to be assured (about) the chemistry of Kampf and Kase, on condition that they have been finest pals coming in right here earlier than ever taking part in a day for the Leafs,” Keefe, the Leafs coach, mentioned on Friday morning. “I believed that pairing might do nicely that method and it might assist each of them get snug taking part in right here.”

The Czechs, each added within the low season, principally have had Pierre Engvall on the left wing on the road. That’s not certain to alter, actually not till Ilya Mikheyev returns from a thumb damage in just a few weeks, and maybe not then both.

“I similar to that I can belief that group to play in defensive-zone conditions,” Keefe mentioned. “They take a ton of defensive faceoffs. It’s difficult position mentally, however these guys have dealt with it rather well.”

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At five-on-five, 86.7% of Kampf’s shifts had began within the defensive zone, previous to taking part in Calgary on Friday.

PRAISE FOR WOLL

Keefe wouldn’t say on Friday morning whether or not Joseph Woll would get his first begin within the Nationwide Hockey League on Saturday in Buffalo towards the Sabres.

Recalled from the Toronto Marlies final week after Petr Mrazek suffered one other groin damage, Woll has been making followers of his teammates with the Leafs.

“Good younger goalie, works exhausting, spends quite a lot of time within the low season engaged on issues within the health club,” defenceman Morgan Rielly mentioned. “If he will get an opportunity to (begin), we’re going to need to be there to assist him.

“He’s a sensible child. He’s nice to have across the room. We’re cheering for these guys who are available in with good attitudes and work exhausting. You need these guys to get a shot.”

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The week of being across the Leafs, and practising with the workforce, ought to bode nicely for Woll.

“He has put his time in, within the group,” Keefe mentioned of Toronto’s third-round choose in 2016. “He’s a man that we consider in.

“A chance for him to spend time with us the final couple of minutes right here, not simply by camp however in a regular-season setting, it might serve his growth nicely.”

KIRILL CAN DO IT

Keefe had a reasonably good concept of what he had in ahead Kirill Semyonov, and now he has some strong proof.

The artful Semyonov made his NHL debut on Wednesday evening in Philadelphia and was sensible all through 19 shifts and almost 12 minutes of ice time, carrying forth camp and a robust exhibiting with the Toronto Marlies from the beginning of the season.

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“You’re actually working to earn the boldness of the teaching employees and your teammates within the group which you can assist them play at this degree,” Keefe mentioned.

“Each participant who’s taking part in down within the minors desires their alternative and there’s quite a lot of guys down there that consider they’re only one alternative away from being NHL participant.

“You get it, you make the most of it. I believed he did a very nice job of incomes that confidence.”

Semyonov, 27, was within the lineup towards the Flyers after captain John Tavares was compelled out with a lower-body damage.

Semyonov’s efficiency on the fourth line caught the attention of his teammates. The conclusion that we’re going to see Semyonov play for the Leafs once more sooner or later was not misplaced.

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“I believed he seemed actually good in camp, not realizing a lot about him,” Rielly mentioned. “For a man to have the ability to are available in (on Wednesday) and be seamless with that transition is spectacular. We’re fortunate to have him, a man like that who can are available in and play nicely.”

(not together with every workforce’s recreation on Friday)

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 8-5-1 at BUFFALO SABRES 5-5-2

Tonight, 7 p.m., TV: CBC Radio: AM 590

WHY WATCH?

A take a look at for weary foes 

Neither membership will be capable of declare relaxation as a bonus, because the Maple Leafs had a fast journey over the border after taking part in host to Calgary on Friday, whereas the Sabres have been at dwelling duelling with the Edmonton Oilers. After profitable 5 of their first seven video games, the Sabres had misplaced 5 in a row previous to Friday. Their report on the KeyBank Heart had stayed intact, as they have been 4-1-1 earlier than the Oilers’ go to. The Leafs are 2-3-0 on the street.

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POINTS LEADERS

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

GP G A PTS +/-

John Tavares 13 7 6 13 E

William Nylander 14 7 6 13 E

Mitch Marner 14 3 10 13 E

BUFFALO SABRES

GP G A PTS +/-

Rasmus Asplund 12 4 6 10 +4

Victor Olofsson 8 5 4 9 +3

Tage Thompson 12 4 3 7 +2

SPECIAL TEAMS

Energy play

TOR: 25% (seventh)

BUF: 25% (sixth)

Penalty kill

TOR: 86.4% (seventh)

BUF: 87.5% (sixth)

THREE THINGS ABOUT THE SABRES

1. With goalie Dustin Tokarski beginning towards the Oilers and Craig Anderson injured, the expectation was that versus Toronto, Aaron Dell will get his first begin of the season. Dell was signed by the Leafs in October 2020 however earlier than he performed in a recreation, he was claimed off waivers by New Jersey final January.

2. By no means thoughts the circus that was the Jack Eichel damage problem earlier than he lastly was traded to Vegas final week, the Sabres have had their issues with the infirmary. Anderson (upper-body) had pushed apart the actual fact he’s 40, compiling a .921 save share in six video games; Buffalo additionally possible can be with out point-a-game ahead Victor Olofsson, who has missed 5 video games with a soft-tissue drawback.

3. The Leafs play extra with the puck than they do with out, and that’s most likely not going to alter towards a Sabres workforce that was thirty first on faceoff-winning share at 45.7%. The Leafs have been fifth at 53.4%.

tkoshan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/koshtorontosun

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