Good on Justin Holl to pounce toward the end of the first period on Saturday night.
After Tyler Ennis bumped Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell at the side of the net, Holl reacted immediately, sending a clear physical message to the Edmonton Oilers forward that getting contact on the netminder would be unwise.
“The importance of that, and not necessarily having to drop the gloves, but standing our ground and letting our opponent know we’re not going anywhere and we’re not going to tolerate those things and we’re going to protect our net (was big),” Leafs captain John Tavares said. “(Holl) has been solid for us and that’s a great sign of what he brings to our locker room and the maturity he has.”
Jake Muzzin’s puck flip aside, the Leafs didn’t do a heck of a lot after the Calgary Flames’ Matt Tkachuk kneed Campbell in the head during a game in January. What Holl did will go a long way in the room.
“Oh man, I could go on all day about Holler,” Campbell said. “He has stepped up so huge for us.
“It just looks like fire in his belly. He wants those big minutes and he wants the opportunity to shut down their their top players every night. As a whole D corps, we played incredible. Holler led the way and he just looks super-confident. He has such a great attitude.”