Shorthanded Maple Leafs return to action as they host the Islanders

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
15 days ago
The 2024 NHL All-Star weekend in Toronto has come and gone, and now it’s time for the unofficial second half of the 2023-24 campaign.
After dropping four consecutive games in mid-January – also going 2-2-0 on their four-game Western road trip – the Toronto Maple Leafs are now winners of four of their past five and went into the break riding a hot streak, playing good defence and getting great goaltending.
They headed into the All-Star break with back-to-back wins against arguably the best team in the NHL, the Winnipeg Jets, outscoring them 5-2. The Maple Leafs return to action tonight to begin a mini homestand against the New York Islanders for the third meeting this season after dropping the first two on Long Island, both in overtime by a score of 4-3.
However, they’ll begin the second half of the season even more shorthanded. After losing Calle Jarnkrok to a broken knuckle before the break – listed as week-to-week, which he sustained in practice by blocking a shot, Toronto will now be without center David Kampf for the next three games after sustaining an undisclosed injury before the All-Star break as well.
Without two of their bottom-six players – Calle Jarnkrok and David Kampf – out for the foreseeable future, the next-man-up mentality on the bottom two lines is now as important as ever. According to Luke Fox, Sheldon Keefe also had an update on goalie Joseph Woll. He is still nowhere near game action as he recovers from his high-ankle sprain, which he sustained in a game against the Ottawa Senators in early December.
Fortunately, Toronto gets forward Bobby McMann back in the lineup after being placed on injured reserve (IR) before the All-Star break due to a lingering injury he was dealing with. The 27-year-old will slot back in on the fourth line tonight alongside Pontus Holmberg and Ryan Reaves, who got shaken up in practice yesterday after taking something up high.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

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

New York Islanders’ lineup:

Anders Lee – Bo Horvat – Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall – Brock Nelson – Kyle Palmieri
Simon Holmstrom – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin – Kyle MacLean – Cal Clutterbuck
Alexander Romanov – Noah Dobson
Mike Reilly – Scott Mayfield
Adam Pelech – Ryan Pulock
One lineup note: According to Luke Fox, two of the Islanders’ best defensemen, Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock, are game-time decisions for New York tonight ahead of their tilt against Toronto. Pulock has been out with an injury since early December, and Pelech, who has been out since late January but also missed a month of action from late November to late December with another injury. Both have only played 25 games this season.

Projected goalies:

Ilya Samsonov (TOR) vs Ilya Sorokin (NYI)


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