Leafs coach Keefe welcomes return of defenceman Muzzin — Toronto Sun

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Leafs coach Keefe welcomes return of defenceman Muzzin — Toronto Sun

NASHVILLE — No one was happier to see Jake Muzzin walk through the door of the Maple Leafs dressing room here — with his equipment — than Sheldon Keefe.

Putting the brakes on Toronto’s recent skid has proven harder without the defenceman the coach calls “in many ways the conscience of our team.”

“It means a great deal, both in terms of his play on the ice and his voice,” said Keefe of Muzzin’s month-long absence with a broken foot. “He speaks a lot, has great presence, great experience of course. He’s an important part of our backend and makes everyone else better.”

Muzzin was asked — and accepted — a conditioning game with the Marlies in Cleveland on Friday en route here, something maybe other veterans might balk at.

“Credit to him for having no ego, not being concerned about anything other than getting himself as prepared as possible. Talking with him, it sounded like a very positive experience and he looked great today.”

lhornby@postmedia.com

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