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Preview: Morning Skate update and the start of a new era for the Maple Leafs

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New coach, who dis?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vegas Golden Knights
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 19: Ilya Mikheyev #65 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first period of their game at T-Mobile Arena on November 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Leafs 4-2.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs at Arizona Coyotes
Watch on: Sportsnet Ontario at 9 pm ET
Opponent’s site: Five for Howling

New coach, who dis?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Toronto Maple Leafs begin life with a new head coach tonight in Arizona. Sheldon Keefe is in charge and he quickly made changes to the lineup. Let’s have a look.

First up, the power play:

Andreas Johnsson is off the first unit, replaced with Tyson Barrie on the wing. This is presumably to have a shooter on each side and William Nylander in the middle. There’s also clear space to insert Mitchell Marner without taking Nylander off the power play.

Johnsson has moved to the second unit, solidifying his demotion. He’s joined by the usual customers, save Zach Hyman, whom he replaced.

Next, the lines.

Maple Leafs Lines

The biggest change comes with Hyman moving from the left wing to the right wing, his natural side. He replaces Kasperi Kapanen, who moves down to his regular spot on the third line. Ilya Mikheyev is up on the second line as the left winger.

On the third line, Alex Kerfoot is practicing on the left wing, with Jason Spezza at his centre. I’m not sure this is the game-time solution, as I’m not convinced Kerfoot is cleared to play. What Keefe does with Spezza when Kerfoot is ready will be telling to what position he thinks Kerfoot is able to play.

On defense, Keefe has made no changes.

My guess is the Leafs are giving this group a few games as a try-out to see if they can play under the new coach. Roster changes might follow next week.

Forwards

Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Ilya Mikheyev - John Tavares - Zach Hyman
Alex Kerfoot - Jason Spezza - Kasperi Kapanen
Pierre Engvall - Frederik Gauthier - Nic Petan
Scratched: Nick Shore, Dmytro Timashov

Defense

Morgan Rielly - Cody Ceci
Jake Muzzin - Justin Holl
Travis Dermott - Tyson Barrie
Scratched: Martin Marincin

Goalies

Frederik Andersen
Kasimir Kaskisuo

Arizona Coyotes Lines

Fun fact, the Maple Leafs and Coyotes lead the NHL in total cap hits! Battle of LTIR, baby!

Clayton Keller - Derek Stepan - Vinnie Hinostroza
Christian Dvorak - Nick Schmaltz - Conor Garland
Lawson Crouse - Carl Soderberg - Phil Kessel
Barrett Hayton - Brad Richardson - Christian Fischier

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun - Alex Goligoski
Aaron Ness - Jordan Oesterle

Antti Raanta
Darcy Kuemper