Pierre Engvall might be a physical presence, but he has other skills

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To those who want Pierre Engvall to start living big and throwing around his 6-foot-5, 220 body with greater authority, Sheldon Keefe hears you.

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“I would like to see more,” the Maple Leafs coach said Saturday morning of his third-line Swedish winger. “With his size and strength, I talked to him at length about closing games and being more physical.

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“At the same time, I coached him for a long time (starting with the AHL Marlies in 2017). You push a player and sometimes you can see that response, but players resort to who they are. The reality is that (full-throttle aggression) is not in his nature.

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“But that doesn’t mean he can’t be effective in other ways: following, being on top of the pucks, skating the pucks on the ice. For that reason, he’s a guy you can rely on defensively. I saw an improvement in his game.”

Accomplishing that on Saturday night, Engvall hustled behind the Sabers net and set up Calle Jarnkrok for what has become a rare commodity for Toronto, a 5-on-5 goal.

“I thought the Vancouver game (a week ago, with one of their two goals so far) was their best of the season,” Keefe added.

“He’s a guy who defends with speed, defends with his stick and more often because of that he gets into good positions.”


  1. The Leafs approach the quarter pole breathing a little easier

  2. John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates a goal against the Buffalo Sabers.

    Defender, Murray propels the Leafs past the Sabers