Leafs AM skate notes: Sheldon Keefe says there are game-time decisions, but doesn’t reveal who
Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
By Nick Barden1 month ago
The Maple Leafs got to work in Tampa ahead of Game 4 inside Amalie Arena later on Monday evening.
There were a number of players who participated in Toronto’s morning skate, including Ilya Samsonov, Calle Jarnkrok, and David Kampf, to name a few.
Nine of the Maple Leafs’ 18 players who dressed for Saturday’s game took to the ice on Monday morning in what was an optional skate for the team, per Sports Illustrated’s David Alter.
In terms of Monday’s lineup against the Lightning, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe elected to not divulge any of his plans. The only thing he said was that there’d be some “game-time” decisions. He didn’t say who those players were, per Sportsnet’s Luke Fox.
This could be one of two things: Keefe isn’t showing his card, similar to what he did on Saturday night, or there actually might be a few game-time decisions. Either way, we won’t find out until the lineup is set in stone shortly before puck drop.
It’s always possible that the likes of Wayne Simmonds, Timothy Liljegren, or Erik Gustafsson see the ice in Game 4 for Toronto. Each of those three players have yet to be in the Maple Leafs’ lineup in this series.
Speaking of which, if Toronto elects to change their lineup around, look out for them going with 11 forwards and seven defencemen. Keefe has tried that out aplenty this year and hasn’t shied away from using it in important games.
Tampa Bay also has listed Brayden Point as a game-time decision, though Lightning head coach Jon Cooper says he “should be in” for Game 4.
Point was the player who went hard into the boards following a check from Morgan Rielly on Saturday night. The 27-year-old did leave the game for a couple of minutes, but he did return to Tampa’s bench shortly after.
Erik Cernak, who took a hit to the head from Michael Bunting in Game 1, will not play in Game 4, Cooper said on Sunday, per TSN’s Mark Masters. The 25-year-old hasn’t been ruled out of the series yet, though.
Each team will come out hungry on Monday, especially with how Game 3 ended. If the Lightning win, it evens up the series. But if Toronto wins, it’ll set them up for an elimination game back home at Scotiabank Arena.
The projected starting goaltenders for Monday night’s game are Samsonov for Toronto, and Andrei Vasilevskiy for Tampa. Another massive battle between two incredible goaltenders.
Puck drop for Game 4 between the Maple Leafs and Lightning is set for 7:30 p.m. on Sportsnet.
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