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SportsBabcock: Playing Nylander without practice was 'probably unfair'

07:05  07 december  2018
07:05  07 december  2018 Source:   thescore.com

Leafs’ Mike Babcock assumes William Nylander will return this week

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He played just 12:29, but Babcock said he liked what he saw, and admitted the forward may have been thrown into the fire a little prematurely. "It was probably unfair for me - we had the bus thing that happened, we were supposed to practice together, we never even gave the guy a practice .

He played just 12:29, but Babcock said he liked what he saw, and admitted the forward may have been thrown into the fire a little prematurely. "It was probably unfair for me - we had the bus thing that happened, we were supposed to practice together, we never even gave the guy a practice .

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock believes William Nylander's first game of the season went as well as it could have, given the circumstances.

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Nylander made his season debut Thursday night after ending his contract stalemate Saturday. He played just 12:29, but Babcock said he liked what he saw, and admitted the forward may have been thrown into the fire a little prematurely.

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Babcock confident Nylander will sign with Maple Leafs. Unfair business practices encompass fraud, misrepresentation, and oppressive or unconscionable acts "I thought Willy was fine," Babcock said. "It was probably unfair for me - we had the bus thing that happened, we were supposed to practice

Nylander takes part in 1st practice with Leafs. The Maple Leafs would also want to replace Nylander ’ s spot in the lineup, and would probably target wingers Mattias Janmark and Valeri Nichushkin. It’s important, however, to realize that the two forwards were playing under very different conditions.

"I thought Willy was fine," Babcock said. "It was probably unfair for me - we had the bus thing that happened, we were supposed to practice together, we never even gave the guy a practice. We wanted to get him in. You've got two guys on that line, one coming back from injury (Auston Matthews) and one who hasn't played. In the end, we had an opportunity, we felt, to get going.

"We tried to get going. It has nothing to do with Willy, it has to do with me and trying to win the game, that's all ... I want him to play a ton, I just want to get him out there and get him going. Any time you've missed that amount of hockey, it's going to be hard for him."

After playing 10:22 through the first two periods, Nylander was limited to just 2:07 in the final frame, not seeing the ice for the final 11:37 of the third period and overtime.

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Nylander, for his part, was satisfied with his performance, all things considered.

"It felt OK, there's a lot of differences from practicing by yourself and with the team back home," Nylander said. "I started feeling better, legs were OK, so it felt like an OK first game."

The 22-year-old should finally get some practice reps in on Friday before the Maple Leafs ship out to Boston for a meeting with the Bruins on Saturday night.

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Related slideshow: 2018-19 NHL Season (Provided by USA Today Sports)

Babcock: Playing Nylander without practice was 'probably unfair'

Maple Leafs finally have a full lineup, but it’ll take time to find its stride.
BOSTON—His full lineup — almost a dream team — finally assembled, all Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock needs to do is find a way to keep his players healthy. With William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen involved in a car accident on their way to the airport Friday, and Auston Matthews’ physically manhandled into the boards on Thursday, it may be easier said than done. While some within the locker room made light of the accident, Nylander took a serious tone. “Just happy everyone was OK after,” said Nylander, whose Volvo S-60 was severely damaged on the passenger side. “Everyone is feeling OK. Me and Kappy are good.” Nylander said the other driver and passenger were OK as well.

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