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Galchenyuk Getting Bigger Maple Leafs Role: Keefe Looking for More

Galchenyuk is getting a bigger look on the Maple Leafs roster. On Wednesday he played power-play minutes. What’s Keefe looking for?

If only he would have scored a couple goals, then we’d know for sure. So, we’re still guessing. That said, Alex Galchenyuk did lots of things right in his expanded role with the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of their 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday evening.

Galchenyuk was promoted to the active roster, took regular second-line shifts, and had a lot of opportunity on the team’s power play. His team won – all good!

Related: Maple Leafs’ Thornton on Hollowell: Nice Kid – Doesn’t Know Def Leppard

Looking Good and Scoring Are Obviously Two Different Things

The Galchenyuk experiment is looking good; however, as I say, he didn’t score. Still, I thought he looked good – speedy – skilled – able to keep up – confident. I hope that means he’ll continue to get more time on the team’s top-six unit. It seems to me only a matter of time before he actually scores a goal or two for the team.  

Alex Galchenyuk with the Toronto Marlies

Over the course of the game tonight, Galchenyuk had three shots on goal, two hits, and two blocked shots. He also carried the puck with speed and created tons of offense. The 27-year-old has now scored four points in 14 games with the Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators this year.

Head Coach Keefe Shares Why He’s Giving Galchenyuk a Chance on the Power Play

During an interview earlier today, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe spoke with the media about why he’s giving Galchenyuk a good look on Maple Leafs’ power-play. Because he sees some good potential for Galchenyuk, he’s decided to expand his role. That’s why Keefe gave Galchenyuk a good look on Wednesday against the Jets.

What Sheldon Keefe Was Hoping to See

Keefe explained that he was going to give Galchenyuk “a bit of an opportunity” on the power play just to see “what he can bring.” It sounds as if Keefe is curious himself, and noted that “part of it is … we obviously haven’t had him through most of the season.”

Keefe noted that the “power play, despite its recent struggles to score goals, has been a real strength for us throughout the season.” He outlined some of the skill players the Maple Leafs have and, as Keefe put it, “we’ve got some guys that were pretty comfortable with in those spots – especially now that we’ve gotten healthy with Simmons and Thornton.”

Related: Who’s the Hardest-Working Maple Leafs’ Player? Alex Galchenyuk

There’s Still More to Learn About Galchenyuk’s Game

Keefe also added that “Matthews of course is feeling and looking better.” But, he also noted that “we want to see what … he (Galchenyuk) can bring there and we’ll give him a chance on the power play tonight.”

Keefe noted that Galchenyuk had “a couple of shifts here and there at different times,” but noted that he was looking for something a little more.

I wonder what Keefe is thinking tonight?



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