Max Domi injured; Leafs share line changes and player updates

Dean Chaudhry
April 12, 2024  (4:55 PM)

Max Domi injured for the Leafs
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs' final home game of the regular season, Ilya Samsonov was announced as the starting netminder tomorrow ahead of their clash against the Detroit Red Wings. Sheldon Keefe also confirmed that Max Domi suffered an injury against New Jersey last night.

After splitting their home-and-home series against the Devils, the Leafs are gearing up for their final home game of the season as they welcome the desperate Red Wings to town, who will be playing for their playoff lives. Despite a shaky performance last night, Sheldon Keefe is going right back to Samsonov in an attempt to allow him to right the wrongs of Thursday's game.
Samsonov was shelled for 6 goals on just 20 shots on Thursday, but he will be looking to rebound after two scintillating performances against Montreal and Pittsburgh prior to yesterday's game. He still holds a 9-2-1 record over his last 12 games with a .910 SV% and a 2.75 GAA, so I'd like to think that his chances of rebounding strong are good.
As for Max Domi., the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent tallied 2 assists, 3 shots on goal, and most notably 19 PIMs after dropping the gloves with Devils' rookie defenseman Simon Nemec in last night's defeat. Keefe admitted that Domi was dealing with an injury this morning, and thus, h was held out of practice, but for the time being, he is listed as day-to-day. Sheldon Keefe revealed on Friday that he wanted to keep Domi off the ice today as a precautionary measure. Furthermore, when asked if he was going to be ready to play tomorrow, Keefe agreed that there was definitely a chance.
With Domi absent, the Maple Leafs made a few adjustments to their lines at this morning's practice. Noah Gregor took Domi's spot on the top line with Tyler Bertuzzi and Auston Matthews, presumably as a placeholder, and Ryan Reaves was seen skating with Matthew Knies and David Kampf on the fourth line with Connor Dewar as the extra skater.
On defense, the Leafs made a couple notable changes during Friday's practice session. Timothy Liljegren was skating on the top pair with Morgan Rielly, Jake McCabe was skating with his usual partner, Simon Benoit, and the third pair once again featured Joel Edmundson and T.J. Brodie.
The fourth pair at practice was a bit of a rotation with Conor Timmins and Ilya Lyubushkin splitting reps alongside Mark Giordano. That perhaps indicates that the brutish Russian defenseman will be held out of the lineup if Liljegren is ready to make his return from an upper body injury.
Additionally, if Domi does indeed miss tomorrow night's contest, it will be the first game he's missed all season and that would then make William Nylander the iron-man of the team as the only player having not missed a single game to date. It's been a big season for Nylander as he sits one goal away from setting a new career-high, having already tied his previous career-best 40 goals from last season. He has already set highs in assists (56) and points (96), is currently just 4 points away from his first 100-point season, and of course he signed his big 8-year extension back in January of this year.
As for the Red Wings, they are currently 1 point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2nd and final Wild Card spot. However, they are also tied with Washington and Philadelphia at 85 points, but Washington holds the tiebreaker while Philadelphia has played one more game. Tomorrow is not a lose-and-you're-out situation for Detroit, but a defeat in regulation will certainly hamper their bid to qualify for the post-season for the first time since 2015-16.
While Detroit will be desperate and hungry, the Maple Leafs should bring about the same energy as they still have a chance of earning home-ice advantage in the first round. However, it definitely took a big hit after last night's loss coupled with the Florida Panthers shutting out the Columbus Blue Jackets. Toronto currently sits 5 points back, but they do have a game in hand on the Panthers. Florida plays Buffalo tomorrow and finishes off their season against Toronto, while the Leafs have a back-to-back slate against Florida and Tampa Bay to end the season after tomorrow night's tilt with Detroit.
12 AVRIL   |   412 ANSWERS
Max Domi injured; Leafs share line changes and player updates

Should the Maple Leafs sit Max Domi the rest of the way to ensure he's healthy for Game 1?

Yes, we need him healthy ahead of the playoffs25662.1 %
No, we should look to secure home-ice advantage15637.9 %
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