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Wednesday’s FTB: Do you give Nazem Kadri his spot back?

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One more game and things have to be changed again.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve noticed that the last few FTBs I’ve done have centered around Nazem Kadri in some way or another. Well, here’s another Kadri-themed read for your Leaf-loving eyes, and it’s something that has had fans talking since Monday night’s 4-2 win.

Strictly from watching the game, you can’t deny that Tomas Plekanec had his best game in a Maple Leafs uniform. Mike Babcock said it best during the post-game scrums. Perhaps it was that the 35-year-old felt that he finally had a purpose (played 17:58 when his previous high was 14:05 against the Buffalo Sabres... yay), or perhaps he woke up that morning hungry for some rat stew, but the turtleneck was visible.

Now after a two-shot and one secondary night, fans are calling for the line to remain intact when Kadri’s suspension ends.

I can understand that sentiment to an extent. If the Leafs let the Patrick Marleau-Plekanec-Mitch Marner line stay together, then Kadri could centre Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen, or even Josh Leivo! Ok, now that’s crazy talk, Leivo getting into a playoff game? Come on.

All jokes aside, a Johnsson-Kadri-Kapanen line would pretty fun to watch. The combination of speed and creativity on the fourth line could give Bruce Cassidy a mean headache. However, the Leafs are at their best with the Mar-Kad-Mar trio running their magic.

Sure Plekanec agitated the heck out of Brad Marchand, but the head-to-head matchup doesn‘t look that scandalous (on-ice Corsi For and Against 10-26). Additionally, if it weren‘t for Frederik Anderson going God Mode, David Pastrnak would’ve made it 4-3 with around two minutes to go.

No one wants to play the ‘What If’ game, but it gets you thinking.

This isn‘t to take away from the night Plekanec had, and quite frankly, I’m glad he was able to have an impact on the team. However, we know what the lineup will and should look like once Kadri returns.

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Would've been nice to see Freddie there but good for Andrei Vasilevskiy, Pekka Rinne, and Connor Hellebuyck to get the recognition.


Enjoy your Wednesday and use it to get wired up for Game Four tomorrow!

Acknowledgements: Corsi stats from naturalstattrick.com