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Leafs make very concerning announcement regarding tonight's lineup


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Ryan Smitheram
December 14, 2023  (1:14 PM)
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Photo credit: David Alter, The Hockey News

Tuesday night saw Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Matthew Knies miss the game against the New York Rangers because of the flu. That gave head coach Sheldon Keefe the opportunity to promote Noah Gregor to the top line alongside Auston Matthews and William Nylander.

While Knies took part in this morning's game day skate, he was the extra forward during line rushes meaning that he will likely not be in the lineup tonight when the Leafs host the Columbus Blue Jackets. That means that Gregor will get a second straight game on the Leafs' top line and Bobby McMann and Ryan Reaves will fill out the fourth line with Gregor's promotion. On the blueline, the pairings are projected to remain the same as they were Tuesday night, with the exception of Max Lajoie, who is expected to be a scratch, as the Leafs project to return to a more traditional 12F/6D setup.
That all seems well and good, however, following the morning skate, Keefe confirmed that we could still see some more changes due to illnesses and injuries.
"We've got some other stuff happening, too. So we'll make a determination on what the group looks like and how to best manage that."

From the sounds of it, the Leafs are not only battling the flu bug, but there are a handful of players dealing with some bumps and bruises. It will be interesting to see what the final lineup looks like as we approach puck drop, but if Tuesday was any indication, another late scratch could mean that we end up with the Leafs reverting to an 11 forward, 7 defenseman lineup once again with Reaves being the odd man out up front. Of course, there could be other changes that Keefe did not tip his hand about.
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14 DECEMBRE   |   821 ANSWERS
Leafs make very concerning announcement regarding tonight's lineup

How would you grade Sheldon Keefe's body of work so far this season?

A587.1 %
B30236.8 %
C31638.5 %
D or lower14517.7 %
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