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Leafs confirm late roster change ahead of tonight's game against Winnipeg

Published January 27, 2024 at 12:29
BY MIKE ARMENTI

The Leafs have had one of the lighter schedules in the NHL up to this point, having played less games than most NHL teams. However, with the toughest schedule remaining of any NHL club from here on out, not only will the Leafs be challenged in the second half, but they'll also be busier than most teams as well, as they still have games in hand to play.

After two days off between games, the Leafs are back in action tonight, taking on the Jets in enemy territory in Winnipeg. After tonight's game, the Leafs will enter their bye week and the City of Toronto will prepare to host the 2024 NHL All-Star weekend, which will feature four Leafs players in Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly.

The Leafs played host to the Jets on Wednesday, skating away with a thrilling 1-0 win thanks to a sensational performance from Ilya Samsonov, who made 32 saves on the evening. Young winger Nicholas Robertson was also a standout in this one, skating a career high 17:08 of ice time in the win and making a pair of plays that helped contribute to Auston Matthews' eventual game winning goal in overtime. There's no question that the Jets are going to be looking to avenge that loss tonight at home and are going to come out flying.

The Jets and the Leafs will both be missing some important pieces tonight as the Jets will be without the likes of Mark Scheifele, the team's top center and perhaps their all-around best player. On the Leafs' side of things, Calle Jarnkrok will be out of the lineup tonight after taking a shot off the hand during yesterday's practice. Jarnkrok is one of the team's top penalty killers and plays on the 2nd powerplay unit as well.


As far as who will replace Jarnkrok in the lineup, after making some recent comments about being displeased with his stretch of games in the press box, Ryan Reaves will draw back into the lineup tonight.


Reaves told Sportsnet's Luke Fox last week that while the understanding was that Reaves' presence in the press box was related to his injury, the truth of the matter is that he's been healthy for weeks and has been itching to get back into the lineup.

Reaves implied that he was frustrated with his current situation in Toronto, which has led to a lot of trade and waivers speculation. However, with Bobby McMann landing on IR on Friday and with Jarnkrok coming out of the lineup, Reaves will have a huge opportunity tonight to make his mark and prove that he belongs in the lineup. It's up to him to make the most of that opportunity.
POLL
January 27   |   515 answers
Leafs confirm late roster change ahead of tonight's game against Winnipeg

What does Ryan Reaves have to do to stay in the Leafs' lineup?

Stand up for his teammates and defend well22142.9 %
Lay the body, drop the gloves, hurt people5711.1 %
Produce some offense, hit and fight23746 %
Nothing. He's a replacement level player00 %
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