Reaves Guarantees Stronger Response to Marchand Hit in Future: 'It's Handled and Will Change'

Austin Kelly
November 4, 2023  (11:56)

Ryan Reaves has promised a "change" in his game after criticism over inaction after a hit from Bruins Forward Brad Marchand injured Leafs Defenseman Timothy Liljegren

Reaves Promises Tougher Response In Future

After being at the center of criticism for not fighting Boston Bruins Forward Brad Marchand, after a hit to the boards caused Leafs Defenseman Timothy Liljegren to leave the game and not return, Ryan Reaves promised his outlook will be different from now on.
Reaves told reporters that it was addressed what needs to change, and Reaves plans to commit to having a more hardline stance in future games where an aggressive response is needed.
Reaves' tenure, after just 10 games, has been quickly scrutinized for his lack of impact on the team. Signed for three-years by Toronto, Reaves is pointless to start the season, a -6 with 12 PIM. Reaves was meant to fill a long-term, fourth-line physical role, held by a rotating door of grinders, to mixed results. Reaves was meant to be the solution, and has been able to show a physical presence, leading the Leafs in hits with 19, but more is clearly wanted. Marchand's reputation as a player who isn't afraid to play loose has made the situation even more of a headscratcher to Leafs fans.
Liljegren, who was knocked to the boards by Marchand in the first period, left the ice afterwards, not returning to the game. The Leafs did not respond to the incident, choosing to focus on the game and not drawing a penalty as retribution for the hit.
The Leafs announced Liljegren would be placed on LTIR, with what Head Coach Sheldon Keefe is calling a high-ankle sprain. Max Lajoie and Simon Benoit were recalled from the AHL to replace Liljegren.