The Leafs, along with the other 11 Eastern Conference teams, will soon be heading into the bubble with the play-in round near. For their final scrimmage before the move, they made some adjustments to their scrimmage lines.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 23, 2020
Given that Team Matthews was extremely stacked for the first few scrimmage games, it makes sense why the lines were balanced out for the last tune-up. Even still, there are a few lines here that look intriguing.
It’s not the first time they have been paired at camp, but the Nylander-Matthews-Hyman line gets back together. The three have shown chemistry over the last few seasons so it makes sense why Sheldon Keefe went back with this trio.
John Tavares and Mitch Marner are reunited, with Ilya Mikheyev joining them to make a solid line. Tavares and Marner meshed well together during the 2018-19 campaign and Mikheyev was having a fine rookie season before an injury sidelined him for months.
Pierre Engvall returns to the projected third-line alongside Alexander Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen. Meanwhile, Nick Robertson now slots in with Jason Spezza and Kyle Clifford. While Robertson has made great improvements throughout training camp so far, his spot on the roster isn’t a sure thing just yet. I imagine this adjustment is an attempt to see what line will work best for him.
The defensive pairings remain intact, including the Jake Muzzin-Justin Holl duo. Holl, who left Wednesday’s practice early after a puck hit his mouth, returned to the ice today wearing a full shield.
Justin Holl missed yesterday’s scrimmage after getting hit in the face in practice and needing stitches
He’s back today in full shield and reunited with Jake Muzzin pic.twitter.com/pnlwH33Ecf
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) July 23, 2020