15 July 2024

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 26: William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Scotiabank Arena on March 26, 2024 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Sad news:William Nylander  has been suspended after confronting the..

It was the morning before Game 3 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins and William Nylander wasn’t playing. He was still trying to get himself right after missing Games 1 and 2. So, he was using every last bit of ice the Leafs had available that morning at Scotiabank Arena to do just that with help from former Leaf and current development team staffer Nik Antropov, goalie coach Curtis Sanford, assistant coach Manny Malhotra, and third goaltender, Martin Jones.

Weird and wild. That’s been Nylander’s postseason in 2024. From missing games, suddenly, after playing in all 82 games during the regular season, to scoring the two biggest goals of the Leafs season.

“Big-time stuff,” Keefe said after Game 6. “That’s what you’re looking for from a player of his calibre.”

Nylander returned to chants of “Willy!” at home in Game 4, but looked out of sorts after not playing for 10 days.

“The first game that he played was not even close to what Willy’s capable of,” Keefe said. “And you can see him working his way back to not just playing but playing in a series of this calibre and playing a series that is the way that it is. I mean, this is tough. There’s not a lot of free ice out there.”

Nylander’s game was stuck on the perimeter for the most part in Game 5. At one point in the first period, he had his hands on his knees after a shift before making his way to the bench to catch a breath. His conditioning had to catch up to playoff hockey.

He famously got into it with Mitch Marner on the bench during Game 4 on a night when the Leafs season looked like it might be over.

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