Toronto Maple Leafs @ Nashville Predators: Game #62
7:00 p.m. ET at Bridgestone Arena
TV/Streaming: CBC, Sportsnet, BSSO
Opponent’s SB Nation Site: On The Forecheck
It’s the last game before the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday afternoon, with the Leafs not playing until Wednesday against New Jersey. Travis Dermott has been on the trade block for a long time now, and the echoes of it have been getting louder. He is in the lineup tonight in what is probably his last game as a Maple Leaf for now — you never know who comes back home in their mid-30s.
Dermott has been an excellent soldier for the team, even going back to his AHL days. He’s fallen out of the lineup as the 8/9th defenseman, but by all accounts hasn’t complained one bit. He deserves a chance to play and hopefully tomorrow or the next day he gets that chance.
The pride of Newmarket, Ontario has always loved being a Leaf and I highly doubt he ever wants to leave. I hope he can find success quickly elsewhere, even if it makes the Leafs look bad on the face of it. I also wonder if he’ll find his way back someday soon. Right place, wrong time, I guess.
I hope he can enjoy the game, and even score a goal. That would be sweet.
Just above the defense, we see Alex Kerfoot on the fourth line. That seems out of place and not a smart decision roster-wise, but also in a salary cap sense. We’ll see if this is his last game as well. The Leafs are trying to improve the defense and get some different forwards on offense, Kerfoot’s cap hit would go a long way to that.
And apparently, Thursday could’ve been Petr Mrázek’s last game as a Leaf as well. I agree with Kyle Dubas, that’s not a deal I would want to do.
Here’s a deal that didn’t happen. Chicago and Toronto discussed Hagel and Fleury to the Leafs for Mrazek, Matthew Knies and 1st round picks. Never reached a stage where Fleury was asked officially to waive. Toronto declined based on the futures involved…1/2— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 19, 2022
After a scheduled absence from practice, Ondřej Kaše and David Kämpf are back in the lineup in their regular spots as of late.
Erik Källgren will make his third consecutive start tonight after two very impressive wins to start his career.
Oh, and Auston Matthews is back!
Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
William Nylander - John Tavares - Ondřej Kaše
Ilya Mikheyev - David Kämpf - Pierre Engvall
Kyle Clifford - Alex Kerfoot - Jason Spezza
OUT: Wayne Simmonds (scratched), Nick Robertson (scratched)
Morgan Rielly - Ilya Lyubushkin
TJ Brodie - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Travis Dermott
OUT: Jake Muzzin (concussion), Timothy Liljegren (scratched)
Erik Källgren - confirmed starter
OUT: Jack Campbell (ribs)
All I really have to say about the Nashville Predators is that they have some beeeeeg defenseman out of the lineup tonight. They have three guys above 6’4” out tonight. There’s nothing to read into here, it was just the only thing that stood out to me about this lineup.
Oh, former Leaf David Rittich, sup.
Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Matt Duchene
Eeli Tolvanen - Mikael Granlund - Luke Kunin
Yakov Trenin - Colton Sissons - Tanner Jeannot
Nick Cousins - Michael McCarron - Philip Tomasino
OUT: Matt Luff (scratched)
Roman Josi - Dante Fabbro
Mattias Ekholm - Alexandre Carrier
Jeremy Davies - Matt Tennyson
OUT: Mark Borowiecki (lower body), Matt Benning (upper body), Ben Harpur (scratched), Philippe Myers (scratched)
Juuse Saros - confirmed starter