Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi and Nick Robertson were a makeshift line last night, but looked like they had been together all season
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Sheldon Keefe has a tough decision to make with his forward lines for Thursday's game

Published February 14, 2024 at 11:47

The Toronto Maple Leafs began life without Morgan Rielly last night as he serves his five-game suspension for cross-checking Ridly Greig of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night. The Leafs played well against the St. Louis Blues and came away with a 4-1 win on the heels of a Bobby McMann hat trick.

This morning on Sportsnet's The FAN590 "Leafs Talk", the discussion was about the play of Tyler Bertuzzi, Nick Robertson and Max Domi. JD Bunkis and Sam McKee discussed what Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe should do when John Tavares and Mitch Marner return from their illnesses and why.

"It would be a damn shame if Sheldon Keefe just went back to the status quo," said Bunkis. "I thought tonight, there was two big things. One is maybe when Tavares and Marner come back, you keep that Domi, Bertuzzi, Robertson line together and you decide to mix up the other pairs. The other thing was, and I know they didn't score, I loved that powerplay with Domi and Bertuzzi on it. It was just moving around and looked totally different... I thought it looked completely different tonight when they were setting up and if I was Sheldon Keefe... maybe you do have two powerplay units. Maybe you break it up and see if you can get something new and get something from Domi or Bertuzzi on special teams."

The trio was very good all night last night and created plenty of chances offensively. Domi skated a season-high 18 minutes, which appeared to make him more engaged and play better. Not to say Domi has not played well for the Leafs this season, but he is one of those players that plays better the more he plays and it showed last night. Following the game, Keefe was asked about the makeshift line and their contributions.

"You are leaving out Bert, who I thought was also excellent on that line. Certainly, Max and Robby were asked to move up and handle more responsibility and tougher matchups. Those guys were really good. I thought Max really took charge of the line. The line was really good tonight. Those guys stepped up to play tougher minutes and tougher matchups and did a really good job."

In saying that the line was very good, hopefully Keefe realizes that he should leave the line together when Tavares and Marner return to give them a longer look. They did all the little things right, and aside from having players return to the lineup, there is no reason to break them up. With the Leafs hosting the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, it won't take long before we know if Keefe will revert to the status quo or not. We may find out as soon as today's practice when we see some line combinations.

February 14   |   832 answers
Sheldon Keefe has a tough decision to make with his forward lines for Thursday's game

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