Saturday afternoon’s practice was the Leafs’ final tune-up before heading into the bubble to begin their quarantine at the Royal York Hotel. Sheldon Keefe only made one change to the lineup, and that was on the fourth line.
#Leafs lines at practice:
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 25, 2020
Pierre Engvall, who saw Nick Robertson surpass him on the depth chart, now slots in between Kyle Clifford and Jason Spezza. It makes for quite an intriguing trio of players with different playstyles, providing Keefe with a new option for the bottom-six.
Meanwhile, Frederik Gauthier has not really stood out during training camp but provides value with his size, forechecking, and his prowess on the faceoff. Unfortunately for him, Engvall has the same height with a better upside offensively speaking and is a year younger. It will be interesting to see how the lines play out and where both Engvall and Gauthier will be placed on the roster.
According to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun, Keefe is still formalizing the makeup of the bottom-six, partially because of Robertson’s performance at camp. The lines above look close to what the Leafs will use for Game 1 against Columbus, but things can obviously change between now and when the cuts are announced.
The Leafs had a scare with Kyle Clifford who left practice momentarily after getting a cut on his mouth but was able to return and complete the practice session.