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Dewar, Edmundson make debuts as Maple Leafs continue mini road trip into Montreal

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Photo credit:Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
1 month ago
The 2024 NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and this is the roster the Toronto Maple Leafs will be going with down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs, pending any future call-ups from the Toronto Marlies.
Toronto wasn’t as aggressive at this trade deadline as last season when they acquired the likes of Ryan O’Reilly, Noel Acciari, Luke Schenn, Jake McCabe, Sam Lafferty, and Erik Gustafsson. Still, Brad Treliving and company weren’t completely quiet either.
He began doing business after their game against the Coyotes on February 29th, acquiring Ilya Lyubushkin from the Ducks, and completed three more deals on the eve of the trade deadline and as the buzzer went at the 3:00 pm ET deadline yesterday, acquiring Joel Edmundson, unsigned prospect Cade Webber, and Connor Dewar.
Lyubushkin made his second debut with the Maple Leafs already, so tonight, it’s time for Edmundson and Dewar to make theirs on Hockey Night in Canada against Montreal at the Bell Centre. What better way?
The additions of Edmundson and Dewar, to go along with Lyubushkin, don’t make Toronto instant Stanley Cup favourites, but they address some needs. Edmundson, as many know after watching the Toronto – Montreal 2021 playoff series, will make forwards’ lives miserable in front of the net.
The 30-year-old rugged defender is known for his physical playstyle and playoff experience. Although he isn’t a legit option for the top four, his physicality and penalty-killing ability will be greatly appreciated in a depth role.
Dewar is in a similar situation. He isn’t some flashy top-six winger or a power-play specialist. He’s a defensive-minded bottom-six forward who brings some physicality to the table and is a great penalty killer, something Toronto desperately needed to add before the trade deadline, given their penalty kill ranks 22nd in the league at 77.5%.
The bonus with Dewar is he is only 24 years old and a pending RFA, meaning Toronto will retain his rights after this season. He could be a legit option for the bottom six going forward if they plan to move on from David Kampf in the future, given his pricey cap hit.
 

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews – William Nylander
Max Domi – John Tavares – Calle Jarnkrok
Matthew Knies – David Kampf – Bobby McMann
Pontus Holmberg – Connor Dewar – Ryan Reaves
 
Morgan Rielly – Ilya Lyubushkin
TJ Brodie – Jake McCabe
Joel Edmundson – Timothy Liljegren
 
Two lineup notes: Mitch Marner will miss tonight’s game against Montreal with a lower-body injury, according to Sheldon Keefe. It’s unknown where exactly he got injured, but one play that comes to mind is in the second period, where he refused to shoot the puck into the open net and instead skated around the net to take an off-balanced shot, resulting in him falling hard on his leg. Toronto also doesn’t play until next Thursday, so giving him a rest now makes sense.
After acquiring another left-shot defenseman in Joel Edmundson ahead of the trade deadline, Simon Benoit is the odd-man out for tonight’s game despite finding success alongside Jake McCabe. I had a feeling this would be the case, given Toronto still has a surplus of left-shot blueliners compared to two right-shots on the active roster.
 

Montreal Canadiens’ lineup:

Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Juraj Slafkovsky
Joshua Roy – Alex Newhook – Joel Armia
Brendan Gallagher – Jake Evans – Josh Anderson
Michael Pezzetta – Tanner Pearson – Rafael Harvey-Pinard
 
Michael Matheson – Kaiden Guhle
Arber Xhekaj – David Savard
Jayden Strubble – Jordan Harris
 

Projected goalies:

Ilya Samsonov (TOR) vs Sam Montembeault (MTL)
 

Broadcast:

Sportsnet, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
 
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)
(Projected lineups from dailyfaceoff.com)

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