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Benn and Mete get their chance, lineups against the Senators, and other notes from day two of Leafs camp
By Jon Steitzer1 year ago
It’s day two and the lines from day one stayed intact. That’s something and likely means we know what to expect in the split games tomorrow against the Senators. In fact, the Leafs made their announcement on who is playing and when.
Essentially this the Leafs already trying to do right by Auston Matthews and letting him sleep in. He and the rest of group one will playing the evening game at 7:00pm and Tavares and company will play the early game at 1pm.
The Leafs also made their decision on the goaltending splits, and Kallgren and Samsonov will take the majority of the workload at 1pm and 7pm respectively, with Ferguson and Petruzzelli on mop up duty for them in the third.
Matt Murray will get Saturday off as the Leafs ease him back into game readiness, which is concerning when you think about how much time he’s missed from injury and he’s been treated like he’s not 100%, but it’s also a split squad game at the beginning of camp and worries are probably premature.
I will say that for new goaltenders, getting them behind their new defensemen and new defensive system as soon as possible in a game seems like a good idea, but my coaching philosophy hasn’t landed me an NHL gig, so I’ll yield to Sheldon Keefe’s expertise on this one.
It seems like Matthews and Rielly are going to be carrying quite the load in the 7pm game, but there seems to be a real interest in tapping into how good Jarnkrok can be as a puck mover. It’s also safe to say that between Aube-Kubel and Gaudette, the Leafs are certainly exploring net presence options on the powerplay and could be a less learned from their series against Tampa when they had a difficult time controlling the slot area late in the series.
Robertson on powerplay two will be interesting to see as he will be a significant outlet for his linemates and won’t have to contend with players wanting to find Matthews as the shooter.
For his sins of being a Swedish Leafs player with Lewis Gross as his agent, William Nylander will spend the rest of the time that Rasmus Sandin is unsigned answering questions about why Rasmus Sandin is unsigned. It certainly would be nice if it was resolved soon as the path to a second pairing role looks to be there for him if he’ll prioritize opportunity over pay, at least for a season or two.
In Sandin’s absence the opportunity for defensemen to step up in the lineup has transferred to Benn and Mete and it sounds like they are finding a fan in Sheldon Keefe. To some extent Keefe’s praise could be a curse for the Leafs as both of these guys will eventually need to clear waivers and if Toronto talks them up too much they might be back to Carl Dahlstrom as their 7th D, and as Keefe noted, that’s a significant drop off.
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