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Sheldon Keefe mixes up the lineup ahead of Maple Leafs’ start to tough road trip

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
1 month ago
After a disappointing mini homestand against the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings, the Maple Leafs now head out on the road to start a challenging four-game road trip, which begins tonight in Edmonton against the red-hot Oilers, who have won 10 games in a row.
The last game against the Red Wings was maybe one of the more embarrassing games for this franchise this season. The Maple Leafs welcomed a team that played the night prior and had to go through the most challenging travel to arrive at the arena for the game. Due to the winter storm that had/has affected many places, the Red Wings’ travel plans got delayed, and they couldn’t get to Scotiabank Arena until 90 minutes before game time. They had to push the start time back so that Detroit had a chance to make it on time.
Well, Detroit made it to the arena and played like a team well-rested against a Leafs team adjusting to Sheldon Keefe putting his lines in a blender. Toronto dropped that one 4-2.
Looking ahead to tonight’s tough matchup, Keefe has mixed up the lineup again, but some lines have some familiarity.
In the last game, Matthew Knies got demoted to the fourth line, Mitch Marner dropped to the second line, John Tavares played third-line center, Pontus Holmberg jumped to the top line alongside Auston Matthews and William Nylander, and Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi played beside Marner in the top-six.
Those lines didn’t work but Keefe has stayed with some of his changes from the last game but has tinkered around, moving back some players in their old spots.
As the Maple Leafs look to end their three-game losing streak, Keefe has returned Marner to his usual spot with Matthews, and Holmberg remains on the top line beside them. Knies jumps back into the top six to play on the second line alongside Tavares and Nylander, who return to their usual line. The bottom six now consists of Bertuzzi playing alongside Domi and Jarnkrok, while the fourth line going back to normal with McMann, Kampf and Gregor. Although Keefe has changed his lines a little once again, I don’t mind these lines.

Pregame details:

Maple Leafs’ lineup:

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

Oilers’ lineup:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman
Evander Kane – Leon Draisaitl – Warren Foegele
Mattias Janmark – Ryan McLeod – Derek Ryan
Adam Erne – James Hamblin – Connor Brown
Darnell Nurse – Cody Ceci
Mattias Ekholm – Evan Bouchard
Brett Kulak – Vincent Desharnais

Projected goalies:

Martin Jones (TOR) vs Stuart Skinner (EDM)

Broadcast:

TSN4, 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT
(Projected lineups from DailyFaceoff.com)

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