Holmberg draws rave reviews from his Maple Leafs teammates

Content of the article

TEMPE, Ariz. — Mitch Marner didn’t elaborate, but he didn’t need to.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

The topic was Maple Leafs center Pontus Holmberg, who cemented the fourth-line center spot and continually draws praise from his teammates.

Content of the article

« Holmberg is great, » Marner said Thursday. « He’s a stallion. That’s all I’m going to say.

The Leafs’ 2018 sixth-round pick, Holmberg, 23, had eight points in 20 games with Toronto heading into Thursday. It was the defensive acumen Holmberg brought to five-on-five that was a boon to the Leafs’ last six.

Content of the article

Coaches want simplicity and no frills play from the fourth line. Holmberg helps provide that.

“His patience and composure with the puck, the guys on the team have talked about his quality and the consensus is that he does all the little things well,” teammate Zach Aston-Reese said.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

“You put a puck within three feet of him and he finds a way to pick it up. I swear a few times he grabbed a puck by stomping on it and didn’t fall, and brought it to his stick. So many little details of his game are dialed in.


Aston-Reese needed 10 stitches inside his mouth thanks to a high stick from Brandon Saad of the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. Aston-Reese had several cuts to her lips and gums, but avoided losing any teeth.

No penalty was imposed on Saad by referees Wes McCauley and Brian Pochmara.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Keefe was upset earlier in the period when the Blues’ Justin Faulk’s apparent interference on Leafs defenseman Jordie Benn went uncalled.

« I thanked him (Thursday) morning for supporting me like that, » Aston-Reese said of Keefe. “It’s good to see. At the same time, it sticks to the team.

“I’m not (often) on the scoreboard at the moment, so if I could eat one on my lips for a four-minute power play before extra time for the guys, I’d do it any day of the week. We didn’t understand that, but we managed to get the win (5-4 OT).

Greg Moore will be the head coach of the American Hockey League’s North Division at the 2023 All-Star Classic in February.

The Marlies coach led the Leafs AHL affiliate to first place in the division with a 19-8-1-1 record.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

« It’s a tremendous recognition not just for Greg, but for the entire Marlies staff, » Keefe said. “It’s a team effort, but Greg definitely led the way.

“His time in the AHL, much like my time in the NHL, has been disrupted and turbulent with COVID and everything we’ve been through. This team this season is off to a great start and hasn’t really looked back.

The Marlies, who host Rochester on New Year’s Eve, have won six of their last seven games.

All of the Marlies who were called up to play for the Leafs, including Holmberg (who we won’t see playing in the AHL again), Joey Anderson and Mac Hollowell stepped in and did well.

« You can look at the success we’ve had as a team despite injuries and underline the willingness of players who come from the Marlies to be able to step up and be transparent, » Keefe said. « The disruption that has happened with our injuries trickles down and hasn’t disrupted the Marlies. They continue to find ways to be successful, so thanks to him and the staff.



Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Back to top button