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Mrazek practises with Maple Leafs, inching closer to return … GameNight at Chicago

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Petr Mrazek is getting near re-joining the Maple Leafs.

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The goaltender received’t be again in internet in Chicago to attempt to assist finish a four-game shedding streak, however he’s not far off both.

For the primary time since struggling a groin harm on Oct. 14, Mrazek practised totally along with his teammates on Tuesday, collaborating within the membership’s exercise on the United Middle.

Mrazek mentioned he felt “actually good” and lauded the Leafs’ medical workers members for his or her work in getting him again into correct bodily situation.

“They took care of me so properly and did an excellent job,” Mrazek mentioned. “I haven’t had remedy like that earlier than, so due to these guys. I feel I’m going to be again ahead of later.

“We’ll see how the issues go, however hopefully (he’s again) in just a few days.”

Jack Campbell, who didn’t take part in the whole apply because the Leafs proceed to handle his workload, might be in aim to face the Blackhawks on Wednesday. Michael Hutchinson will again up, presumably for the final time earlier than Mrazek returns.

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CHANGES IN POWER

With the No. 1 unit on the facility play sputtering, coach Sheldon Keefe made a change on Tuesday, switching the roles of Mitch Marner and William Nylander.

Marner went to the flank and Nylander to the bumper spot as Keefe makes an attempt to get it proper with the group.

After scoring three targets on eight energy performs within the first two video games of the season, the Leafs are 0-for-14 of their previous 5 video games.

“We haven’t determined essentially what we’re going to seem like (on Wednesday),” Keefe mentioned. “We’ve been focusing extra on the look that you simply’ve seen thus far, and we haven’t actually completed a lot otherwise. We wished to get some reps with slightly little bit of a unique look so we are able to have an adjustment if we really feel it’s needed. The outcomes haven’t been there for us, so we are able to’t simply proceed to do the identical factor.”

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The one member of the highest unit with a power-play aim this season is Nylander. Pierre Engvall and Jason Spezza scored the opposite two.

Captain John Tavares didn’t mince phrases when requested concerning the energy play.

“We simply should be higher,” Tavares mentioned. “Whether or not we’re altering issues up, the onus is on us to step up and execute and perceive what a distinction that may make in a recreation, particularly the way in which issues have been going. With myself and our group, we have now to be higher and go on the market and discover a method to get the job completed.”

EYES ON HAWKS

Even with the Blackhawks’ struggles and COVID protocol listing, it will be silly for the slumping Leafs to look previous them.

“Anyone can beat anyone on any given night time,” Spezza mentioned. “So that you don’t take anyone as a right. We’re going by a tricky stretch right here the place we’re struggling, they’re going by a tricky stretch the place they’re struggling. In the event that they’re lacking guys, that’s one other side of the entire storyline.”

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Spezza touched on a problem that has been an issue for the Leafs: Dictating the play.

“That’s one thing we are able to do a greater job of, shouldn’t be letting the opposite group select what kind of recreation it’s going to seem like,” Spezza mentioned. “One of the best groups within the league, they play the sport on their phrases most nights. Once we begin making groups play the video games on our phrases, we might be a greater group. And that’s one thing that we are able to begin (Wednesday).”

Keefe, in the meantime, didn’t make modifications to his prime two strains from the loss in Carolina, holding Auston Matthews between Michael Bunting and Nylander, and Tavares between Alex Kerfoot and Marner.

Nick Ritchie, with no factors in seven video games and simply 10 photographs on aim, remained on the fourth line.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 2-4-1 at CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 0-5-1

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Tonight, 7:30 p.m., TV: Sportsnet, Radio: AM 1050

WHY WATCH?

One thing has to offer

The Blackhawks haven’t held a lead in   their first six video games, setting an NHL document for the longest stretch to begin a season with out getting forward of the opponent. The Maple Leafs have misplaced 4 in a row and 5 of their previous six, failing to play a lot inspiring hockey alongside the way in which. The Leafs have received two of their previous three within the Windy Metropolis, however are 3-7-1 of their previous 11 visits and haven’t received in regulation in Chicago since Feb. 12, 2003.

POINTS LEADERS

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

GP G A PTS +/-

William Nylander 7 2 3 5 -1

Jason Spezza 7 3 1 4 -1

Michael Bunting 7 2 2 4 -2

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

GP G A PTS +/-

Patrick Kane 5 1 4 5 -7

Seth Jones 6 0 4 4 -9

Dominik Kubalik 6 3 0 3 -5

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SPECIAL TEAMS

Energy play

TOR: 13.6% (twenty sixth)

CHI: 27.3% (ninth)

Penalty kill

TOR: 87.5% (seventh)

CHI: 90.9% (4th)

THREE THINGS ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS

1. As if the Hawks’ shedding methods weren’t unhealthy sufficient — they and Arizona are the lone NHL golf equipment with out a win — COVID has taken a sizeable chunk out of the membership. As of Tuesday afternoon, forwards Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Henrik Borgstrom, Jujhar Khaira and defenceman Riley Stillman had been in COVID protocol.

2. Going 0-4 to begin his tenure in Chicago can’t be the way in which that future Corridor of Fame goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury envisioned the following chapter in his storied NHL profession. Fleury has an unsightly .839 save proportion, however that received’t final. Maybe he’ll take note of his profession document of 19-12-4 towards the Leafs, whereas attempting to enhance his .898 save proportion versus Toronto.

3. Talking of powerful begins with the Blackhawks, defenceman Seth Jones, acquired from Columbus in an low season commerce and signed to an eight-year contract, would most likely like a reset. His mark of minus-9, previous to video games on Tuesday, was tied for second-worst within the NHL.

tkoshan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/koshtorontosun

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