Korbinian Holzer certainly is getting his NHL baptism by fire.
In his four games with the Leafs this season, the hulking defenceman is averaging 19 minutes, 20 seconds per game, an obvious sign that coach Randy Carlyle has no shortage of confidence in him.
Since being called up from the Marlies, Holzer's ice time has increased with every game -- from 15:09 to 17:53 to 20:38 to 23:41 against the Jets on Thursday, Only Dion Phaneuf logged more ice time in Winnipeg.
With the Leafs nursing a 3-2 lead in the dying seconds against the Jets on Thursday, Carlyle opted to send Holzer out on the ice with Phaneuf to preserve the win. It was a recipe that proved to be successfdul.
"I've been fortunate to have some good partners," Holzer said after the Leafs had completed their workout at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. "I'm getting more and more comfortable every time out."
Holzer scored the winning goal in the Leafs' 3-2 victory in Washington on Tuesday. It was his first NHL goal.
"I'm just trying to keep it simple," he said, laughing.
"It's hard to think that it's been seven years since I was drafted. It's been a very long road to get here, but I'm here.
Korbinian Holzer earning extra ice time with Maple Leafs
Toronto Sun | Feb 9