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FTB: new line combinations at Leafs camp as things get serious

Ilya Mikheyev is playing with who?

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five
TORONTO, ON - MAY 27: Ilya Mikheyev #65 of the Toronto Maple Leafs warms up prior to playing against the Montreal Canadiens in Game Five of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on May 27, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Sunday was a baseball day in Toronto and on the internet, but we all know how that turned out, so let’s talk about the Leafs lines we saw at training camp! The reason these are interesting is because some players were swapped from one group to another and the line rushes are starting to look a lot more like what they’ll be on opening night. So let’s look at the new lines and what we can infer for the Leafs (and the Marlies) this season.

Leafs lines as they stand:

Line 1: Ritchie - Matthews - Marner
Line 2: Mikheyev - Tavares - Nylander
Line 3: Kerfoot - Kämpf - Kaše
Line 4a: Engvall - Brooks - Simmonds
Line 4b: Robertson - Amadio - Spezza
Line 4c: Bunting - Semyonov - Ho-Sang (no contract)

Pair 1: Rielly - Brodie
Pair 2: Muzzin - Holl
Pair 3: Sandin - Dermott

Goalie 1: Mrázek
Goalie 2: Campbell

Obviously the fourth line is still a mess, but that’s not expected to get resolved until the end of camp. As of right now, all nine players listed on the three fourth lines are in the mix (though Amadio and Semyonov are probably at the bottom) with waivers, contracts, and cap space playing into who gets the final four roster spots (13th forward is still up for grabs).

As for the defense, the Leafs literally can’t afford a different arrangement than this unless there’s a trade or an injury happens. Timothy Liljegren has done a lot to help his case, but I don’t think the Leafs were going to force him in unless one of their other players (Mikheyev, Kerfoot, Dermott) really fumbled and got traded. That said, there is still hope for him to make the team in some capacity during the season as trades, injuries, or something else comes up.

Remaining Forwards: Abramov, Anderson, Der-Arguchintsev, Gusev (no contract), Gabriel, Kopacka, Seney

Remaining Defensemen: Liljegren, Dahlstrom, Biega, Kral, Kivihalme, Hollowell, Menell, Rubins, Hoefenmayer, Duszak

AHL skaters: Antti Suomela, Rich Clune, Ryan Chyzowski, Jeremy McKenna, Curtis Douglas, Riley McCourt, Brennan Kapcheck, Marc Michaelis

Possible Marlies Lineup:

Robertson - Der-Arguchintsev - Anderson (if he clears)
Gogolev - Semyonov- McKenna
Abramov - Amadio - Suomela
Seney - Douglas - Ho-Sang (if he gets a contract)
Clune - Gabriel

Kral - Liljegren
Dahlstrom - Biega
Kivihalme - Hollowell
Rubins - Menell
Hoefenmayer - Duszak
McCourt - Kapcheck

This is probably the best Marlies team we’ve had in a few years, which will not only be good for the team itself but it should also increase the internal competition for jobs and push all the prospects to be better.

I really like this forward group. It’s fast, tenacious, talented, and overall there are few one-dimensional players. SDA is going to be great, Robertson has a lot to prove, and Abramov is looking to kick off his pro career on the right foot. And then you have guys like Gogolev, McKenna, and Ho-Sang who could surprise more than they already have and become important pieces to the team.

Another thing I’ll mention is the extremely long list of defenseman that are on the depth chart. First, it’s always been this bad and the Marlies have always found ways to lose defensemen via the Growlers, Leafs, and trades for guys who don’t like their second pairing role (looking at you, David Warsofsky). In short, they’ll be fine. I kind of expect the Leafs to lose some guys like Dahlstrom, Kivihalme, or Menell one way or another. Liljegren will be spending more time on the Leafs this season than last if there are injuries or trades. and a couple of these guys will end up on the Growlers playing big minutes. Maybe Kral is one of them.

Various Leafs and Branches

Back to Excited Episode 154: Painkillers in the NHL & Preseason thoughts | by: Arvind

If anyone is unsure what this is about, see our Sunday FTB. With this news that the NHL “just wants to talk” with Lehner, it’s just so transparent they just want to shut him up. We’ll see where this goes.