Holmberg is back and Brodie skates: Leafs Practice Notes

The Leafs are back again tonight facing the Islanders. Remember, the team that doesn’t need John Tavares (the Islanders have outscored the Islanders’ leading scorer every season since Tavares left) and the team that rushed to hire Lou Lamoriello after the Leafs canned him (UBS Arena now chants “Fire Lou” for the night). .) Yes, it was an interesting game tonight, but it was also an interesting morning skate today.

Pontus is back! It was Dryden Hunt’s second lock on waivers. Holmberg has earned his spot in the NHL and is back in the lineup after his brief illness. Holmberg is absolutely worth the risk of losing Dryden Hunt.

I think that’s an accurate assessment of Hunt as well. There’s something to like about him, but right now the Leafs should like Holmberg more, and they certainly seem to be getting more out of Bobby McMahon.

TJ Brodie skated with the Leafs this morning, but Keefe ruled him out for tonight’s game as well as Wednesday’s game. There are three more games after that before the All-Star break and I guess it will come down to how the Leafs look and how Brodie feels if they bring TJ back before that extended rest.

The interesting adjustment in the Leafs lineup is that Kerfoot is back at the 3rd line wing spot and Bobby McMann will join Pontus Holmberg on the 4th line. As excited as you can be about a fourth line, that’s the excitement I’m feeling here. That’s the line I’d like to see the Leafs roll as long as it can succeed. All could be opportunities depending on who the Leafs bring in at the trade deadline, but with the personnel they have today it looks like an optimized 1st, 2nd and 4th line. The 3rd line isn’t too shabby either, but Kerfoot still feels like whatever line he’s assigned to.

It will be interesting to see what the Leafs do with their pairing when Brodie returns to the lineup, but it at least seems interesting that he’s getting work on the left side instead of the right. It may be more to Ben’s advantage to work on the right, but I wonder if Giordano will get a few nights rest in the future.

The Leafs will know the fate of Dryden Hunt in a few hours. Based on Keefe’s comments above, the Leafs are probably optimistic that they can hire Hunt to the Marlies and continue working with him. That said, the Leafs never seem to get lucky with waivers when they want to keep player depth.

It’s also worth noting that Samsonov is starting tonight.

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