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Shamrocks and Shenanigans: Leafs vs. Canes preview

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Photo credit:Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
11 months ago
Hey! The Leafs play tonight. They play again tomorrow night too. Nothing like back-to-backs late in the season to get you nice and worried about the health of the line up.
The Canes in a lot of ways are the cautionary tale this year. They’ve been one of the top teams in the league from start to finish, only to have Andrei Svechnikov suffer a season ending injury post trade deadline. As much as I’d love to appreciate how that makes Carolina less intimidating tonight, I’m much more curious to see how they adapt with such an important part of their roster out.
As for who will be out of the Leafs roster tonight, Sheldon Keefe will be sitting long time roster staple, Justin Holl tonight to continue testing out what the right mix is on the Leafs blueline. It will be interesting to see how the Leafs do without Holl in the lineup and I wonder if this is a prelude to the Leafs deciding to use Liljegren for home games where they have greater control over his matchups and Holl when the opposition gets the last change. I’m not saying I agree with this approach, I’d just go with Liljegren all the time, but this is an attempt to understand the logic here.
The Leafs also might get a reunion with Frederik Andersen tonight. Nothing is yet confirmed but it seems likely the former Leaf will get the start.
On the Leafs side of things it will be Ilya Samsonov tonight which means Matt Murray tomorrow. Given Samsonov’s home success and results during his last outing, this makes sense, and tomorrow night can be the long-awaited return to Ottawa for Matt Murray.

Lineups

Carolina:
Jesse Puljujarvi – Sebastian Aho – Seth Jarvis
Teuvo Teravainen – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook – Jordan Staal – Jesper Fast
Derek Stepan – Jack Drury – Stefan Noesen
Jaccob Slavin – Brent Burns
Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce
Shayne Gostisbehere – Dylan Coghlan
Frederik Andersen
Pyotr Kochetkov
Toronto:
Calle Järnkrok – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Michael Bunting – John Tavares – William Nylander
Zach Aston-Reese – David Kämpf – Noel Acciari
Alex Kerfoot – Sam Lafferty
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Jake McCabe – Luke Schenn
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
Erik Gustafsson
The “St. Pats” game starts tonight at 7pm ET and can be found on TSN4 in the Leafs broadcast region.

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