Critiquing the Leafs lines before they hit the ice

Bless Sheldon Keefe’s soul. He’s given us the unique opportunity to start reacting to the Leafs lines before they hit the ice tomorrow. Of course he didn’t give us his defense pairings, so he’s left us a little bit wanting, but we’ve got the big stuff to dissect early.

Maple Leafs lines to start:
Thornton – Matthews – MarnerVesey – Tavares – NylanderMikheyev – Kerfoot – HymanSimmonds – Spezza – Barabanov
Outside looking in to start: Robertson, Boyd, Engvall, Anderson
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 3, 2021

So we’ll go line by line through these, but first line left wing Joe Thornton deserves some special recognition. After weeks of trying to figure out if Thornton was going to be the fourth line center or if he was going to grab the 3C position from Alexander Kerfoot, we’ve now learned that Sheldon Keefe has been galaxy braining his lineup card the entire time, and we’ve really got some interesting combinations to look at.
The four players that James Mirtle lists as being on the outside looking in looks like the lock for the taxi squad forwards, and potentially the roster scratched player as well. Boyd would potentially the roster guy of that group, as …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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