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Thursday’s FTB: Revisiting line combos

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Instead of trying something new, what if we tried something old?

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to have hit a bit of a slump lately, at what we’ll call a... less than optimal point in the year. I don’t know what exactly the issue is – I don’t think anyone does, otherwise surely the Leafs coaching staff would have fixed it by now. I also really doubt it is as simple as there being any single factor to rout out that has led to the current dearth of both goals and saves for the Leafs.

With Sheldon Keefe having confirmed that Frederik Andersen will once again be facing the Penguins as our starting goaltender tonight, it’s clear that for now, at least, the goaltending isn’t something that is going to change. There are still other things that the coach might try in terms of shuffling players around though. We’ve seen a lot of retooling of the bottom six lately, to... well, very little effect. What hasn’t been revisited in a while, however, is the switch that happened earlier this season on the top two lines.

I’m not arguing, by any measure, that reuniting William Nylander and Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner and John Tavares, will solve all of the Leafs’ various woes...

...but I’m also not not arguing that.

Can’t hurt to try, right?

ICYMI

If you thought you read the headlines wrong... well, you did, sorry. It’s not a typo, it’s a:

A cheerful look at past trade disasters!

Andreas Johnsson to miss six months:

Elsewhere

Keefe had some spicy quotes for the media after Tuesday’s game:

Editor in Leaf makes an argument for why Leafs fans should be rooting for Tampa right now:

Maple Leafs Hot Stove also takes a look at the newest member of the Toronto Maple Leafs:

Sportsnet talks to Auston and Ema Matthews about family, food, and Matthews’ pride about his Mexican heritage:

And all the rest...

Alec Martinez is on his way to Vegas, so any Leafs fans who had him on their wish list can officially cross him off:

A look at the largest distances between AHL teams and their NHL affiliates... and which teams are looking to relocate because of that distance:

ESPN looks back at the USA’s defeat of the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games:

And that’s all for now! Don’t forget to check back in later this morning for our preview of Pittsburgh II: Revenge of the Leafs. In the meantime, please enjoy this video of a very big kid playing with some very small kids.