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Mark Masters

SPORTSCENTRE Reporter

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​Nick Robertson will make his season debut replacing Alexander Barabanov, who logged just four minutes and 19 seconds of ice time last night.

"Really just looking for him to make an impact on each shift that he gets,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. "I think he has the ability to do that. He showed that in the bubble. Probably the biggest area of development for him is some of the details away from the puck that will take some time to come. In addition to that, what I'd really like to see is how he's developed from a strength perspective over the off-season. He's put in a lot of work. How can he handle the physicality of the NHL and the strength of the defenders? He and I have talked about how that was a big area that I took out of the Columbus series that gave him some struggles as part of developing as a young player. He's got lots of energy and lots confidence and he'll be moving out there for sure." 

Robertson played four games in the series against Columbus last summer scoring one goal. 

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Jack Campbell starts and Aaron Dell will dress as the back-up. Frederik Andersen skated this morning and now gets a full night off.  

"Part of our reasoning for that is with a day off tomorrow that will allow him to get a full day of hark work on the ice this morning without having the sense that he might have to go in," Keefe explained. "You'll see that pattern remaining as we have three goalies." 

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Keefe is calling for his team to play faster on offence this season so they can better break down structured and competitive teams like the Ottawa Senators.

"It's a mindset. It's really something we've worked at since Day 1 of training camp. Our focus is to speed a lot of things up that we're doing and attack the net a lot more. So, that was one of the most frustrating things as you come away from the game yesterday. We've been working on [being] able to win games like last night where it's difficult to get offence and teams play hard and are competitive and structured. We want to be able to win those games. We got to be able to find ways to be a good team in those environments. So, that's been the focus from Day 1 of training camp and we failed to bring that to the ice yesterday so that was very disappointing and we had a discussion about that this morning and that was really the difference." 

Keefe actually felt like his team was in good position after the first period. 

"We just didn't stay with it and that's really what it's about," he said. "We wanted to be a team that can play well when it's hard for the duration of the game and it just shows we have a ways to go in that regard, but we're expecting our team to be a lot better in that area today." 

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TJ Brodie was on the ice for four of five Senators goals last night and spoke about the challenges adjusting to a new team after spending a decade in the Flames organization. 

"Systems-wise there's a couple things that are different than what I'm used to and then obviously the big thing is getting to know the guys," the defenceman said. "Everyone has their own tendency of what they like to do and the biggest thing is getting to know that and what guys like to do with the puck when they're in certain situations so you can be available for them."

Brodie will lean on partner Morgan Rielly, the longest-serving Leaf, as he gets up to speed with things. 

"I can definitely be more vocal out there and let him know what's coming," Brodie said. 

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Trailing in the first period last night, the Senators tied things up on a two-man advantage. With his team already shorthanded, Alex Kerfoot jumped on the ice early leading to a too-many-men call. He was asked about the team's penalty kill, which has now allowed three goals on eight chances this season.

"We've done a pretty good job when we get set, but we're giving up too many free opportunities," Kerfoot said. "A couple bad line changes. Obviously, mine last night was terrible and when you're on a five-on-three there's not much you can do on that play there. The first night against Montreal, just a couple bad, careless mistakes that lead to breakaways or easy chances against, but once we get into our set we've done a good job. We have to limit those easy plays."