June 3, 2013 5:46 pm

Toffoli earning veterans’ praise

Tyler Toffoli recorded a goal and an assist in Sunday’s Game 2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks and gave the team an offensive lift despite the late pre-game adjustments necessitated when Mike Richards was unable to play due to concussion-like symptoms.

“Just get the pucks deep and play with the puck in their end and make them work,” Toffoli said of his line’s efforts. “Make their goalie make saves and just keep getting the puck to the net.”

On Tuesday, Toffoli’s teammates articulated the way the AHL’s rookie of the year has been able to take advantage of the playing time he has earned in his first NHL looks.

Dustin Brown, on Tyler Toffoli:
“I think he does the little things pretty well for a young guy. He’s not the biggest, most filled out guy. That will come with him. The one thing that stands out with Toffoli for me is his willingness to battle it out along the walls. Sometimes you don’t see it in a smaller, younger guys. He’s shown he’s willing to do that. That goes a long way in progressing as a professional. That’s probably the hardest part of the game. It’s the will on the wall.”

Justin Williams, on Toffoli stepping into a larger role:
“I think Tyler is going to be a phenomenal NHL player for a long time. He’s had some big games for us when he’s been called upon to play. He’s always been ready. That’s what you need to do as a young player. When you’re called upon, show up. He’s done that. Gave us a little bit of life yesterday. I don’t know what the lineup will be, but we’re certainly going to need him to continue his play.”

Dustin Penner, on Toffoli’s Game 2 performance:
“Came in, showed a lot of poise, especially after not having played in a while. Made some patient plays – the one with Carts there, holding the puck after he came into the middle to get around the D and just putting a slapshot wide. He’s going to be a good player, and he keeps getting better quickly.”

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