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Ryan Reaves returns to lineup for the first time since mid-December

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Photo credit:© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
29 days ago
After yesterday’s practice concluded, Sheldon Keefe announced that forward Bobby McMann was heading to injured reserve (IR) due to a lingering injury, and forward Calle Jarnkrok, who departed practice early after blocking a shot, would need more evaluation.
Today, he confirmed that the 32-year-old will be sidelined week-to-week due to a broken knuckle, putting two of their forwards on the shelf for now. Luckily, they have just one game between today and February 5th due to the All-Star weekend, and hopefully, that would be close to enough time for them to rest before returning to the lineup.
With McMann and Jarnkrok out and Ryan Reaves activated off injured reserve a couple of days ago, the 37-year-old, who hasn’t played since December 14th against the Columbus Blue Jackets, will be sliding back in on the fourth line against his hometown team, Winnipeg.
It’s no secret that the Ryan Reaves experiment hasn’t worked out in Toronto up to this point, and it’s not like it was going to work out the second Brad Treliving inked him to a lucrative three-year, $4.05M contract on July 1st. He’s no longer the player he once was, even though he was no more than a physical presence back then too. But outside his first two games with Toronto, where he dropped the gloves twice and laid some massive hits, Reaves hasn’t done any of that since.
If he’s not throwing his weight around, dropping the gloves or sticking up for his teammates… what’s he going to do? He isn’t someone known for his offence. He has one goal this year, which came against the Chicago Blackhawks, in just 21 games. He’s not a good defensive player. The fourth line would get caved in on their end of the ice and get scored on almost every other shift when he was on the ice.
It’ll be interesting to see how they utilize him for the next handful of games if Jarnkrok is still not back from his broken knuckle and how many games he’ll even get to play between now and the end of the season.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nick Robertson – Max Domi – Noah Gregor
Pontus Holmberg – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren

Winnipeg Jets’ lineup:

Kyle Connor – Vladislav Namestnikov – Nikolaj Ehlers
Cole Perfetti – Dominic Toninato – Alex Iafallo
Nino Niederreiter – Adam Lowry – Mason Appleton
Morgan Barron – Rasmus Kupari – Axel Jonsson-Fjallby
Josh Morrissey – Dylan DeMelo
Brenden Dillon – Neal Pionk
Dylan Samberg – Nate Schmidt
Lineup note: Josh Morrissey and Gabe Vilardi are game-time decisions for the Winnipeg Jets tonight, so there might be some shuffling of the lines if they both can or cannot go. Mark Scheifele, who missed the last game against Toronto, will not be in the lineup tonight. He is out.

Projected goalies:

Ilya Samsonov (TOR) vs Connor Hellebuyck (WPG)

Broadcast:

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

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