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Leafs poised to make multiple changes for Game 4; Huge Nylander update


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Ryan Smitheram
April 26, 2024  (1:28 PM)
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William Nylander
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs had several lineup changes during practice on Friday, the most notable one featuring William Nylander, who projects to play in Game 4!

After yesterday's day off, the Leafs took to the ice Friday afternoon for practice with Nylander being the first player on the ice for pre-practice drills. Out since the end of the season with what Elliotte Friedman reported as migraine issues, Nylander joined his teammates for practice for the fourth consecutive time. Instead of the blue jersey he has worn previously he dawned the traditional 'bottom-six' white jersey.
While Nylander took part in practice, Auston Matthews was given a maintenance day and Ilya Lyubushkin was given the day to spend time with his new-born daughter.
With Matthews absent, Connor Dewar took reps on the first line between Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi while Nylander skated with Pontus Holmberg and Calle Jarnkrok.
Nick Robertson, who had previously been with Jarnkrok and Holmberg, found himself on the fourth line with David Kampf and Ryan Reaves. It remains to be seen as to whether Dewar or Robertson will come out of the lineup to make room for Nylander, but given how much Sheldon Keefe has liked the fourth line, Robertson may be getting the short end of the stick once again. Regardless, Nylander has his sights set on returning tomorrow night as he was also seen taking reps on the mightily struggling first powerplay unit.
On the back end, it appears that Liljegren is going to be going to be a healthy scratch in favour of T.J. Brodie, who skated with Joel Edmundson on the third pair. Liljegren was paired with Morgan Rielly as a placeholder for Lyubushkin and the second pair of Jake McCabe and Simon Benoit remained together.
Here were the full lines at practice, according to David Alter of The Hockey News, with placeholders marked with an asterisk:
Bertuzzi-Dewar*-Domi
Knies-Tavares-Marner
Nylander-Holmberg-Jarnkrok
Robertson-Kampf-Reaves
Extra: Gregor
*Matthews absent (maintenance)
Rielly-Liljegren*
Benoit-McCabe
Edmundson-Brodie
Liljegren likely being a healthy scratch only gives the Leafs one right-handed defenseman in Lyubushkin, but Liljegren has been out-muscled consistently, so he has not done much to earn the benefit of the doubt in this series.
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26 AVRIL   |   476 ANSWERS
Leafs poised to make multiple changes for Game 4; Huge Nylander update

If Nylander returns for Game 4 on Saturday who would you scratch?

Robertson14330 %
Dewar16735.1 %
Reaves8317.4 %
Other8317.4 %
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