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Rielly on playing the PK, Hunwick and more

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly spoke to media following practice on Monday. Here's what he had to say...

Are you happy to be killing penalties more than playing on the power play?

Absolutely. I just want to help the team and I've been pretty lucky to have had a good partner in Hunny (Matt Hunwick). He's been playing excellent and I just want to help the team and limit their best players when I get the chance. Just do whatever the coach says.

Have you seen those offensive opportunities arise shorthanded?

Yeah, for sure. I think when you have a chance to join the rush or join the play or try to create something you have to take that. But, playing against those top guys like I said before, you have to pick your spots. You have to be careful with when you're going because they'll cheat behind you and if you turn the puck over they're gone the other way.

Do you see greater balance in minutes on the blueline between the pairings?

Yeah, it's been great. Harry (Scott Harrington) is a young guy coming in and he's played outstanding. He has been very good. Obviously Roman is a veteran and he has played well as well. I think that's important. You've got to keep the legs fresh. We have a lot of back-to-backs and two-in-threes and that stuff. You have to manage the minutes and in turn you have to manage your game as well.

Looking ahead to Buffalo, how important is positioning to negate the speed of Eichel and his teammates?

He's a great player with lots of speed and you have to be aware of that when you're out there against him. You have to manage the gap, you have to take away his ice a little bit and not give him a chance to wind it up. Hunny is a great skater, moves very well and he's a treat to play with. Hopefully we can limit his opportunities to hit top speed and get chances.

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