T.J. Brodie
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Sheldon Keefe makes an unpopular roster decision, reveals his justification for the move

Published February 29, 2024 at 12:58

The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to get back in the win column tonight against the Arizona Coyotes after having their seven-game win streak snapped by the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday. After a day off yesterday, the Leafs and head coach Sheldon Keefe held a full practice this morning.

Up front, Keefe did not tinker with the lines at all, but injured forward Calle Jarnkrok was a full participant as he aims to return from a broken knuckle at some point next week. Noah Gregor projects to be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game.

On the blueline, Keefe has reunited Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie in what is always his most unpopular decision when it comes to lines, which Keefe was asked about following practice. Admittedly, Keefe is not fond of the pairing but explained why he is going back to it tonight against Arizona.

"To me, he played better on the left side of late. But we're in a jam right now When you're in a jam like this, you just have to fall on what has worked for you over time."

Keefe's justification further enforces the fact that the Leafs need a right-shot defenseman as they are once again dressing six lefties as Timothy Liljegren remains out of the lineup with an unspecified injury.

With Liljegren out, Mark Giordano will pair with William Lagesson on the third pair while Jake McCabe and Simon Benoit remain together. With the unknown of how long Liljegren may be out, GM Brad Treliving has just eight days to add to the right side before Leaf fans will have to endure another playoff run with Brodie alongside Rielly.

February 29   |   638 answers
Sheldon Keefe makes an unpopular roster decision, reveals his justification for the move

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