The Toronto Maple Leafs have nine regular-season games remaining. Here is a potential look at what the Maple Leafs lineup could look like in round one of the playoffs.
If everyone is deemed healthy by playoff time, then the lineup will surely be different than the one the team used on Thursday night against the Jets. Take in the additions made during the deadline and the Leafs seem to finally have a nice balance of skill and tenacity. This mix is something Toronto has lacked in previous seasons.
Congratulations to Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas for learning from mistakes of the past and getting this team the types of players needed to help our stars succeed.
Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Lines
The top line will likely be centered by a goal-scoring machine in Auston Matthews. The line will also have Mitch Marner on the right-wing, meanwhile, Alex Galchenyuk can be found on the left-wing.
Found in the middle of the second line is Maple Leafs captain and centreman John Tavares. Playing alongside him on the right-wing will most likely be William Nylander. The left-wing of this line is where things have the potential to get interesting. We will see either forward Zach Hyman or newly acquired Nick Foligno getting this spot.
On the third line, it’s anyone’s guess, as Leafs fans could see Leafs fans could see any number of combinations. If he is healthy, we could see Riley Nash started by Sheldon Keefe as the third line center. If he is not healthy, then we’re most likely to see forward Alex Kerfoot get the start in this role. The wingers will likely be Ilya Mikheyev on the left side and veteran Wayne Simmonds getting the start on the right. If Nash does end up centering this line, then Kerfoot would be moved to the wing. We could also see Hyman or Foligno playing wing on the third line.
Finally, we get to the team’s fourth line. This line will likely have Jason Spezza up the middle. He could have any combination of veteran Joe Thornton, Simmonds, or Nash as possible linemates. Fans could also see the youngster, Nick Robertson, get some time on the wing.
Galchenyuk – Matthews – Marner
Foligno – Tavares – Nylander
Hyman – Kerfoot – Mikheyev
Thornton – Spezza – Simmonds
Extras: Nash and Robertson
Toronto Maple Leafs Defense Pairings
The team’s top pairing will be the same as it has been all season long. It will have Morgan Rielly on the left side, while T.J. Brodie can be found on the right side. These two will be counted on to log a lot of minutes on the ice. Hopefully both are up to the task.
On the second pairing, we’ll likely see Jake Muzzin on the left, meanwhile, Justin Holl will get the start on the right. Hopefully, these two will be a good shutdown pair, just like they were at the beginning of the season. Lately, they haven’t been too fortunate when in their own end.
The third pairing will likely be Travis Dermott and Zach Bogosian, but Rasmus Sandin could also see some playing time. If Bogosian can give Toronto the same version of himself that he gave the Lightning last season, then the Maple Leafs should be harder to play against.
The wildcard with the Maple Leafs defence will be defensemen Ben Hutton, who’s a native of Brockville. Hutton was acquired at the deadline and could be a beneficial depth piece for the team.
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Dermott – Bogosian
Extras: Sandin and Hutton
Toronto Maple Leafs Goaltending
Depending on the status of his health, it is almost a given that Frederik Andersen will be the Maple Leafs starting goaltender once the postseason starts. However, the starters’ job could also depend on how well or poor Jack Campbell does in the season’s remainder. We could see Campbell get the start in Game 1 followed by Anderson in Game 2, leaving Keefe to make a decision.