The Leafs are coming out of their OT loss to the Golden Knights feeling okay about how things went, and honestly, I can’t blame them too much. They’ve taken 7 of 8 possible points in the last four games and that includes the Bruins, Canes, and Knights which haven’t been easy outs this season. The fact that we are seeing few changes in the lines isn’t much of a surprise, but it is interesting to see who will soon be available to Sheldon Keefe as options for his lineup card.
In addition to the regularly scheduled line rushes the Leafs also have Kyle Clifford present in a red non-contact jersey, and Jordie Benn skating as the 7D. There doesn’t seem to be an immediate rush to get Benn into the lineup, but with the Friday/Saturday back to backs the odds are pretty darn good that we see him in the Vancouver game, especially since the Leafs love to give their depth players opportunities against their former clubs, if not for resting Giordano/Holl or someone else.
With Matthews and Marner buzzing on Tuesday night it seems reasonable to keep Kerfoot with them as he could have been a catalyst for their success. Presumably, Simmonds is a bit of a placeholder for Calle Jarnkrok, but I have to admit I’d prefer that Engvall be Jarnkrok’s placeholder as a Bunting-Jarnkrok-Simmonds line is far more intriguing than putting Engvall out there to glide around. Unfortunately, the PK realities dictate Engvall will probably still be in.
As for Calle Jarnkrok, he’s down with the sickness:
At this point it seems like Murray could be ready as soon as the Leafs need him, but with Kallgren being serviceable and the Leafs facing the struggling Canucks on Saturday it’s possible the Leafs let Kallgren and Petruzzelli have the weekend before reintroducing Matt Murray to the fray next week.
The Leafs play the Penguins Friday and the Canucks Saturday.