New responsibilities for Auston Matthews with the Maple Leafs

New responsibilities for Auston Matthews with the Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has big plans this season for star forward Auston Matthews, who he plans to use on a penalty kill.

“I don’t expect that to be his role or full-time responsibility, but rather occasionally, when it becomes necessary,” Keefe said on video conference Thursday.

“We want him to start feeling comfortable in those types of situations, especially face-offs. He can give us a lot on the left side. ”

Last season, Matthews was used for a total of 2:59 on the penalty kill. In his four seasons in the NHL, he only played 07:34 as the Leafs were short of a man.

“He’s developed his defensive side a lot and we believe he can give us a lot on the shorthand,” Keefe continued. And obviously, the offensive threat it represents will also bring a lot. “

Keefe also plans to use forwards Mitch Marner, Zach Hyman, Alex Kerfoot, Ilya Mikheyev and Jason Spezza in such circumstances this season.

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