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Sheldon Keefe shuffles forward lines and D pairings, makes a surprising scratch


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Ryan Smitheram
March 1, 2024  (3:29 PM)
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Calle Jarnkrok appears set to return to the lineup after a 13-game absence
Photo credit: NHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 last night in Toronto for their first regulation win against the Coyotes since October of 2002. The Leafs saw the return of goaltender Joseph Woll, who looked very good in his first game with the team since early December, but they also lost defenseman Mark Giordano early in the first to a head injury after he crashed hard into the boards, causing a concussion.

The Leafs returned to practice today before facing the New York Rangers tomorrow night in Toronto and with Giordano out, head coach Sheldon Keefe was forced to shuffle his defensive pairings. Holding newly acquired Ilya Lyubushkin's place on the top pairing with Morgan Rielly was Max Lajoie while T.J. Brodie skated with Jake McCabe. The third pairing had Simon Benoit skating with William Lagesson.
Keefe not only shuffled his defensive pairings, but he also made a notable switch to his third line. Out is Nick Robertson and in, likely making his return tomorrow, is Calle Jarnkrok. Jarnkrok has missed the past 13 games due to a broken knuckle.
While Robertson appears to be the odd-man out at this point, there are a lot of questions about his future with the team with the deadline looming. Pontus Holmberg is no longer waiver exempt after playing his 70th game last night and with Knies playing well on the top line, it would appear that Robertson is headed to the AHL to free up a roster spot for Jarnkrok or that he'll be included in a package to upgrade elsewhere on the roster.
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Sheldon Keefe shuffles forward lines and D pairings, makes a surprising scratch

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