Ever since the Leafs brought in Jake McCabe, Erik Gustafsson, and Luke Schenn at the expense of Rasmus Sandin (as well as any hope of Conor Timmin’s getting ice time) there has been an ongoing question of who should be partnered together. Time has answered a lot of that for us as we’ve seen some frequent partnerships between Brodie and McCabe as well as Rielly and Schenn, but that still doesn’t mean those are the best options. In the spirit of debate, I asked the TLN contributors: What do your Game One defensive pairings look like and why?
I was originally going to have Liljegren paired up with Rielly, but the formers play of late is making it more likely that Keefe leans on the veteran Schenn to start. McCabe-Brodie has quickly become the Leafs’ most trusted defensive pairing since the trade deadline and for good reason. And while there would be a significant portion of Leafs fans unhappy to see Holl in the lineup, he seems to have upped his game in recent weeks and should remain beside Giordano going into the playoffs. Injuries could obviously throw a wrench in these plans, but I think the ones I listed make the most sense.
Things could change over the next 9 games, however today I would go with:
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation