Toronto Maple Leafs skaters Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly, John Tavares, and William Nylander celebrating a goal during a road game.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Toronto Maple Leafs Debut A Brand New Top Six At Practice

Published March 15, 2024 at 9:06 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had to get creative with their lines in recent days. Injuries combined with certain players struggling have brought on a brand new look in some key spots of the lineup.

Maple Leafs Lineup Ravaged By Injuries

After an early season filled with injuries on defense and to the goaltenders the stretch run seems to be the forwards turn to be hit with the injury bug. Mitch Marner is dealing with his recently diagnosed high-ankle sprain.

Mitch Marner (ankle) remains OUT for tomorrow's game against the Carolina Hurricanes

But the winger was back on the ice yesterday & skated again today, per coach Sheldon Keefe

Depth has also been hit by the Maple Leafs with the injury to Calle Jarnkrok as well. Jarnkrok is reportedly dealing with a hand injury that will keep him out for a couple of weeks.

Calle Jarnkrok has a hand injury, per Sheldon Keefe

"It's a week-to-week type of injury for him"

Finally, Ilya Lyubushkin has dealt with injuries since arriving in Toronto and those injury issues continue to persist keeping him out of practice. Although head coach Sheldon Keefe is hopeful he will be back for the team's next game.

Sheldon Keefe on Ilya Lyubushkin missing practice:

"He took some hits yesterday & things tightened up on him today so wasn't feeling as good. We're still hopeful he'll be available tomorrow, but we'll just have to see how he responds."

All of these injuries have led to a drastic shift in the lines for practice and likely for the team's upcoming game.

Maple Leafs Debut Brand New Lines In Practice

The lines in practice today showed the Maple Leafs contingency plans particularly up front due to injuries. The biggest surprise is the promotion of Pontus Holmberg to the top line with Auston Matthews and Tyler Bertuzzi.

This change meant that Max Domi slides to the second line and will be playing center between William Nylander and Bobby McMann. With Domi centering the second line captain John Tavares has been demoted to the third line.

Bertuzzi - Matthews - Holmberg
McMann - Domi - Nylander
Knies - Tavares - Robertson
Dewar - Kampf - Gregor
Extra: Reaves

On defense, things have mostly remained the same. Connor Timmins filled in on a pair with Morgan Rielly. Timmins who is on LTIR was just a place filler for Lyubushkin who is expected back.

Brodie - McCabe
Rielly - Timmins
Edmundson - Liljegren
Extras: Giordano, Benoit

Ilya Samsonov was in the starter's net for practice and will likely be in goal for the game unless things change between now and tomorrow. The Maple Leafs will have a morning skate tomorrow which will be the true confirmation of this new-look lineup for Toronto.

As Read On - Maple Leafs Daily - Leafs announce several significant lineup changes following 6-2 win in Philly
March 15   |   598 answers
Toronto Maple Leafs Debut A Brand New Top Six At Practice

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