Line combos, defensive pairings, and other news and notes from the Leafs first day on ice

The Leafs are finally back on the ice, and with that comes the first line combinations we’ve had to dissect in four months. With the acknowledgement that it’s day one, and while these are destined to change especially due to the notable absence of Auston Matthews, there was presumably some thought given to the combinations that we saw, and for that reason they warrant sharing and at least a couple of quick thoughts.

#Leafs lines from group 1 working on drills (Auston Matthews took the early skating drills, but is not participating in 5-on-5 drills) pic.twitter.com/OttTQeZrtq
— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) September 23, 2021

Leafs afternoon combos pic.twitter.com/TjnTSKPEnI
— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) September 23, 2021

It’s worth noting that Nylander swapped in for Douglas shortly after, and the one true additional absence for the day beyond Matthews and Steeves was Wayne Simmonds.
Rather than go line by line, and drive you and I crazy in the process, there are probably some interesting truths to what we’re seeing here, and we’ll take a look at what’s happening.
First thing that stands out to me are the main defensive pairings:
Rielly-Dermott
Sandin-Brodie
Muzzin-Liljegren
Dahlstrom-Holl
Rubins-Menell
We’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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