William Nylander involved in vehicle crash in Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander smiles as he speaks to the media regarding his new contract in Toronto on Monday Dec. 3 2018

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander smiles as he speaks to the media regarding his new contract in Toronto on Monday Dec. 3 2018

"We were better than them for two periods", Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill said. Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson each had a goal and an assist for Toronto.

Nylander returned to the Leafs following a prolonged contract impasse that ended last weekend with the restricted free agent signing a six-year, US$45-million deal.

It would be a good night for Bruin scorers to start clicking, even though they've been missing key players such as Patrice Bergeron.

"It's going to take a couple of games until you get there".

For his part, Nylander wasn't discouraged by his debut. Thursday's brief morning skate was his first appearance on the ice at Scotiabank Arena. "The more he plays and the more he gets through it, the better he's going to be". Nylander was held off the scoresheet against Detroit, but is coming off consecutive 61-point campaigns.

"It felt OK", Nylander said.

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"He's an intelligent player", said the coach. Do you expect him to have an immediate impact and how many points does he finish with this season?

"He should be the freshest guy in hockey".

Kapanen, meanwhile, has 11 goals for the Leafs so far on the year, and another 10 assists. "For myself, that first period, it took me a while to get my legs going".

For the Leafs, the obvious change is the trickle-down effect Nylander's return will have on the lineup, it started with Josh Leivo being traded to the Vancouver Canucks. It should also help that Nylander will now be the go-to option on the second power-play unit which will get their opportunities after the top line wears down the oppositions penalty killers. "It's a big loss for us, for sure".

Where Nylander can have the greatest impact is his skating ability which makes him a unsafe player in transition which should open up room for Matthews and Marleau.

Toronto's 4-2 win over Boston nearly two weeks ago, was the start of four straight games facing 40 or more shots for Toronto's No. 1 goalie. Garret Sparks gets the call against Detroit with the Leafs set to open a five-game road trip Saturday in Boston. We're just going to put him in. The Bruins are trying to tread water until some of their injured players return. It's not like trading for a guy or anything like that. "In the second and third I started feeling much better, but I want to feel good the whole game".

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