Leaf's head coach Mike Babcock maintains that he does not enjoy telling someone in the fight for a place in the fourth line that he will not be in the line-up one night.
"You enjoy everything (about the competition) except that you tell the man that he is not playing," Babcock said, while speculation about who is sitting down, relegated or even exchanged every day Zach Hyman comes closer to returning. “You want everyone to play at their best and be happy. The reality is in good teams, that does not always happen. "
A few days ago Nic Petan was sent down, got five points in two games with the Marlies and was recovered for Tuesday against the kings. Injured John Tavares returned and Jason Spezza was seated after his best match. Dmytro Timashov was also out on Tuesday as the Leafs preparation for the Vegas Golden Knights home Thursday. Hyman could be back by Saturday against the Flyers and that requires a few bodies to be pushed out of the grid.
"We're trying to figure that out," Babcock said. "Spezza comes in a good mood here and he enjoys the boys. It doesn't make it easy and the hardest part is when you've been a top player and try to fit into that (limited) role.
"Other boys are used to it, they have done it for 10, eight, five years and have found a way to survive and stay mentally strong."