Auston Matthews and William Nylander
Photo credit: NHL

Sheldon Keefe throws one of his lines under the bus after narrow victory in Montreal

Published March 10, 2024 at 1:09 PM

After being handily defeated by the Boston Bruins on Thursday, dropping a 4-1 decision to their Atlantic Division foe, the Leafs traveled to Montreal on Saturday for a Hockey Night in Canada matchup against their oldest rival, the Montreal Canadiens, hoping to get back into the win column.

The Leafs did skate away with a 3-2 win thanks to a 3rd period goal by captain John Tavares and a key penalty kill late in the game. Ilya Samsonov was excellent in the win, making 29 saves on the night, and thanks to goal support from Tavares, Bobby McMann and Max Domi, they'll take home a valuable 2 points.

One line that everyone was looking forward to watching before the game was the trio of Tyler Bertuzzi, Auston Matthews and William Nylander, allowing the game's first goal in just over 30 seconds to open the game. Unfortunately, even with the star power on that line, they were very visibly the Leafs' worst line on the night. Even Sheldon Keefe felt the same way.

"They weren't very good. They just individually weren't very good. It's a night where the group picked them up, so that's good." - Keefe on the Bertuzzi-Matthews-Nylander line

With Mitch Marner listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, Keefe did his best to structure his lines in a way that made sense, but for whatever reason, the Bertuzzi, Matthews, Nylander line just looked out of sync all night and lost their minutes by a significant margin.

Thankfully, the rest of the team pulled their socks up and made sure to carry the extra weight with the top line misfiring all night. It wouldn't be surprising to see another lineup shuffle this week in anticipation of the Leafs' Thursday night matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers. Perhaps they'll even have Marner back by that point in time.

March 10   |   628 answers
Sheldon Keefe throws one of his lines under the bus after narrow victory in Montreal

Should Tyler Bertuzzi stay up on the top line when Mitch Marner returns from injury?

Yes19831.5 %
No43068.5 %
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