He went down the tunnel for a very brief period of time, and then returned to the bench. He played the rest of the game, and didn’t look hurt to the casual viewer.
After the way JVR went down, and how he looked right at end of game as he left bench, I’d be surprised if he’s ok https://t.co/z2SzpTDKcr— Ray Ferraro (@rayferrarotsn) October 25, 2017
Ray Ferraro was right there on the bench, however.
Generally Mike Babcock puts a placeholder in for players out for maintenance days. Instead he rearranged the lineup:
Lines at Leafs practice— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 25, 2017
And yes, that’s Eric Fehr still practicing with the team after clearing waivers.
Taking the trouble to move Connor Brown to his off-wing, seems to me to be about not demoting him back to the fourth line when he’s been playing well. Mitch Marner has also been playing well. The result, though, is second line of all lefties and a third line of all righties.
So why not take that lineup and swap Brown and Leo Komarov? We’ve seen Brown play with Nazem Kadri. It should work out.
The other half of that, Komarov with Tyler Bozak and Marner is likely the reason why it isn’t happening even as it’s an idea that appeals to people, and it’s an interesting intellectual exercise: Would Komarov successfully offset Bozak’s defensive weaknesses?
I think the reason we aren’t seeing that is because Komarov is not fast on the transition, and Bozak and Marner are. Having your forechecker trailing the play isn’t very useful. Once in the offensive zone, Komarov’s strength is as a net-front player, but in a very different way to van Riemsdyk. With the pass-first Bozak and the pass-often Marner on the line, who is taking the passes? There’s a list of three left-side defenders who can all pitch in (or should that be pinch in) but is that what you want with Bozak or Marner to cycle in to cover them?
If this scheme hold up for the game on Thursday, we’ll get to see how well Brown does at the job Komarov seems not quite right for.
Babcock says he expects JvR to play tomorrow— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 25, 2017
And if that is true, and not a little mind game for Bill Peters as he comes into town and needs to formulate a pan of attack, then we all got to have a fun what if exercise for a day.
We’ll have more on the Fehr situation later on today.