Morgan Rielly addresses lowered ice time since return

Rielly is back after his lengthy suspension.



The Toronto Maple Leafs are on a ridiculous tear right now, having won seven straight games that coincided with the start of veteran defenseman Morgan Rielly's five game suspension for his dirty cross-check to the face of Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig earlier in the month. 

Not only did the Leafs win all five games without Rielly, but they've won both games since he's returned to the lineup.

“I was definitely nervous coming in," Rielly said of his first game back last week. “The team was rolling and that was really nerve-wracking. You’re just trying to find your game again, get back into a rhythm. It’s not as easy as it seems.

“After a practice at home, I expect to be back and playing like my usual self," he continued. 

“The guys were supportive. They were playing well and I was trying not to upset the apple cart.”

However, fans noticed that Rielly's ice time was less than 20 minutes during Toronto's victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in Sin City, only the second time that's happened this season. 

According to head coach Sheldon Keefe, they're easing him back into action. 

“(Rielly has) done a good job,” Keefe said. “It's tough to come in when the team is rolling like it is. As much as he's played in the league a ton and is a great player and a great defenceman for us and an important leader, it's tough to come in when you've missed five games and just jump on the treadmill, midstream.”

The Leafs are next in action tomorrow night, as Vegas will be looking to extract some revenge for their recent loss when they pay a visit to Scotiabank Arena.

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Source: TSN