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The Toronto Maple Leafs have gotten themselves off to a solid start to the season with 4 wins over their first 6 games of the regular season, but in spite of that head coach Sheldon Keefe continues to search for the perfect mix in his forward group.
Ahead of Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, Keefe made use of two recent Maple Leafs callups when he injected both veteran forward Wayne Simmonds and veteran defenseman Kyle Clifford into the lineup. It would appear that Keefe liked what he saw from the two veteran players as it would appear that they will once again be in the lineup come Monday when the Maple Leafs are set to face off against the Las Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Another interesting move made by Kefee ahead of Saturday's game against the Jets was his decision to make Pierre Engvall a healthy scratch. Not only did Keefe give the forward the night off, but he was also critical of his performance up until that point in the season.
"He has looked tentative and hesitant to skate, and that's his No. 1 asset, to move his feet ... he hasn't done that here quite yet," said Keefe after scratching Engvall. "Bit of a reset for him."
It would seem that Keefe meant what he said when he talked about giving Engvall a reset, with Engvall getting a chance to show he got the message when he will once again enter the Leafs lineup on Monday night. Engvall going back in means that someone will have to step out of the lineup for Monday night's game, and this time around it will be forward Zachary Aston-Reese who gets the night off.
Keefe did not elaborate on his decision to give Aston Reese the night off.