Toronto Maple Leafs @ Winnipeg Jets - 8 PM on TSN 3 and 4
The Leafs were supposed to be done the season by now, sitting with their feet up waiting for game one against the Canadiens. Instead, they get to jet out to play the Jets. It could be worse, the Oilers play their last game tomorrow afternoon, so small mercies. Note the start time, though, this is another 8 pm game for some reason.
Is there anything on the line? A win puts the Leafs in fourth place ahead of Florida, and that’s it for impact. Nick Foligno and Ben Hutton get one more game to figure out the team they’ve already gotten to know. I don’t know how we’re going to go back to an 82-game season if just playing out 56 is this torturous, but that’s next year’s problem. Today’s problem is who is in net for the Leafs.
I don’t actually know how the lines will be arranged, but let’s pretend he’s top line wing:
Maple Leafs Lines
Alex Galchenyuk - Auston Matthews - Adam Brooks
Nick Foligno - John Tavares - William Nylander
Pierre Engvall - Alex Kerfoot - Ilya Mikheyev
Joe Thornton - Jason Spezza - Wayne Simmonds
Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Jake Muzzin - Justin Holl
Ben Hutton - Travis Dermott
Jack Campbell to start
The expectation is that both Zach Hyman and Riley Nash will come into the lineup for the playoffs which begin in a month or two, I believe. Two forwards have to come out, and word is one of them will be Galchenyuk because nothing says NHL hockey like top line to the pressbox in one easy step. In addition, it’s likely that cap casualty Rasmus Sandin replaces Ben Hutton as well.
The Jets would also likely rather be doing just about anything but hosting the Leafs when they want to be preparing to play the Edmonton Oilers starting on Wednesday.
Jets coach Paul Maurice on tonight's reg. season finale: “There is almost - this is going to sound terrible for hockey - a gentleman’s agreement. I don’t think you’re going to see any late hits. Both teams are getting ready. There will be a certain amount of respect on the ice."— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) May 14, 2021
The most recent Jets lines looked like this:
Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perreault - Paul Stastny - Pierre-Luc Dubois
Dominic Toninato - Adam Lowry - Mason Appleton
Jansen Harkins - Nate Thompson - Trevor Lewis
Josh Morrissey - Dylan DeMelo
Derek Forbort - Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley - Jordie Benn
Whatever they end up doing for real in the playoffs is Edmonton’s problem, and I don’t really care at this point. Both teams can call it a live-fire exercise to get ready for their playoff opponents, and in that sense it likely beats yet another day with a practice.
Will an 82-game season be intolerable next year?
|Depends how this one ends