Conor Timmins becoming essential to Leafs' blue line

The Maple Leafs suddenly appear to have incredible depth on the blue line, and Conor Timmins is giving Sheldon Keefe no reason to take him out of the lineup. In his 53rd NHL game, against Philadelphia, the 24-year-old defenceman scored his first big league goal to go with impressive performances since his November trade to Toronto.

Video Transcript

OMAR: Raise your hand if you think Conor Timmins should stay in the lineup. I mean, all kidding aside, now, that's not even a joke. That's legitimate. Conor Timmins and this whole story has been incredible. I mean, initially, he's traded for a player that a lot of people were mad at in Curtis Douglas, who thought, hey, maybe this could be another big power forward style player who can fit in the lineup. But I know [INAUDIBLE] Davis kind of sticks to Greyhound's roots and acquires Timmins, who has been steady and solid.

He's putting up points. He scored his first NHL goal. We saw a nice picture of him when he was a kid, showing that he had the passion all along. But it's gotten to the point now where, when the blue line is healthy, where do you play Timmons? Personally, I don't think that he's done anything that warrants taking him out of the lineup. And I also don't think that he's that level of defensemen where you only throw him in on the second half of back-to-backs, or you only throw him in when a player needs a break.

I think Sheldon Keefe needs to find legitimate ways to keep Conor Timmins in the lineup. He makes the team better. I think in his entire tenure as a Leaf, I've seen maybe one or two times where he's done something. And it's like, OK, you probably should have done that. Now, and this isn't going to turn into like, oh, Justin Holl should be off the team. Like, I've actually liked Justin Holl's game game as of late. But I think maybe Sheldon Keefe can get to a point where maybe he starts to rotate players a little bit. I don't know. I don't know. It's an option.

But at the same time, I don't want to see Timothy Liljegren or Rasmus Sandin come out of the lineup as well. So who knows? Maybe it's a player transaction that needs to take place to kind of make some room, or maybe Conor Timmins does end up being on the sidelines. But I think the fact that the Leafs have a capable defenseman in Timmins, that is really good but is the seventh defenseman on the team right now, I think kind of speaks to how deep the Leafs are on the blue line.