Leafs celebrate a huge goal at home
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Leafs shake up their lines and pairings ahead of a pivotal matchup against the Jets

Published January 23, 2024 at 3:56 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs have returned home for the first time since they hosted the Detroit Red Wings on the 14th of January. They have been out west and played Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Seattle over the past week or so, posting a 2-2-0 record along the way.

Unfortunately, it's a one-off stop, playing at home tomorrow against Winnipeg, before they finish off the home-and-home series in Winnipeg against the Jets. They'll certainly be looking to build off of a strong performance against Seattle where they limited the Kraken to only 1 goal and just 17 shots.

The lines at practice remained relatively the same with the exception of Bertuzzi being absent. Matthew Knies and Mitch Marner were on Auston Matthews' wings, John Tavares was in the middle between William Nylander and Pontus Holmberg, Max Domi was centering Calle Jarnkrok and Nicholas Robertson, and David Kampf, Bobby McMann, and Noah Gregor represented the fourth line.

Ryan Reaves was the extra skater and Bertuzzi was absent as his wife is currently expecting their second child. Based on the lines, if Bertuzzi does make it back in time for tomorrow's game, look for him to re-take his 2nd line role and Holmberg to pop out of the lineup after Robertson's strong game in Seattle. However, at this point, the Leafs are planning for Bertuzzi's absence tomorrow and have awarded Pontus Holmberg's excellent play by bumping him back into the top six.

On defense, the Leafs had Morgan Rielly with T.J. Brodie, as has been the trend for those two for most of the season. Timothy Liljegren was moved up and was paired with Jake McCabe, and Simon Benoit slid down and was skating alongside Conor Timmins. 40-year-old Mark Giordano was on the 4th pairing with William Lagesson, which suggests he will sit out another game.

The Maple Leafs will need to bring their A-game as they host the Western Conference leading Winnipeg Jets who are 30-11-4 on the season, 8-2-0 in their last 10, and have allowed a league best 2.29 goals against per game.

January 23   |   716 answers
Leafs shake up their lines and pairings ahead of a pivotal matchup against the Jets

Who deserves to be in the lineup most right now?

Nick Robertson48667.9 %
Pontus Holmberg15721.9 %
Bobby McMann7310.2 %
Ryan Reaves00 %
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