Sheldon Keefe coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Sheldon Keefe tweaks lineup ahead of Saturday's tilt with the Canucks

Published January 20, 2024 at 9:26

After a hard fought win to secure two valuable points on Thursday night in Calgary, the Maple Leafs are taking no breaks ahead of their back-to-back games over the weekend.

Sheldon Keefe had the team practicing on Friday ahead of a game against a very tough opponent in the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, and judging by the line rushes, it would appear as though there will be some changes to the forward group.

The first and fourth lines appear to be staying together as Keefe looks to find consistency from his players. The pairings are the same as well. The changes up front include tweaks to the middle six forwards. Tyler Bertuzzi is being reunited with John Tavares and William Nylander, while Matthew Knies slides down to join Max Domi and Calle Järnkrok, per Leafs reporters Mark Masters and David Alter.

The hope is that Bertuzzi can use his speed and forecheck to help get Tavares' line going while utilizing Knies in a similar role on the third line. Keefe continues to tweak and adjust as the season wears on, hoping to find the right mix for a Leafs team that has been fairly inconsistent this year. The question is, will Keefe keep these lines together during the game, or will we see some additional in-game lineup adjustments?

The Leafs currently sit 3rd in the Atlantic Division after Thursday's win in Calgary, just 1 point up on both Detroit and Tampa Bay, with 2 games in hand. The hope is that they can string together a few wins here against the Canucks and the Kraken tonight and tomorrow to build a bit of separation between themselves and their Atlantic Division rivals. Tall task against two very tough Pacific Division foes, but after losing 4 straight before Thursday's win, perhaps it was a bit of a wake-up call for the Buds.
January 20   |   799 answers
Sheldon Keefe tweaks lineup ahead of Saturday's tilt with the Canucks

Should Tyler Bertuzzi continue to play in the top six?

Yes, alongside Tavares and Nylander24030 %
Try him with Matthews and Marner again9812.3 %
3rd line with Domi and Järnkrok25732.2 %
Trade him at the deadline for assets20425.5 %
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