Liljegren looks good, Jarnkrok is on guard, and Hunt is on the second line: Leafs practice notes

Liljegren looks good, Jarnkrok is on guard, and Hunt is on the second line: Leafs practice notes

After a possibly disastrous loss for the Jets and a mediocre midweek win for Toronto, the Leafs are back on the ice today to prepare for their game against Montreal tomorrow night. At least most of the Leafs, we’ll get to Absence in a minute. First the good news…

Whenever you see a Leafs defenseman leave the tunnel in the middle of a game there is a bit of panic. The good news is that Liljegren (and possibly the Leafs medical staff) said he was good to go.

So here are some things. Further clarification from Sheldon Keefe that Calle Jarnkrok has a maintenance day. He’ll be good to go tomorrow, so that’s encouraging because he’s been a great addition to the second line. With the All-Star break coming up soon, some of these maintenance day absences are expected to blow the Leafs away until they get some much-needed rest in a few weeks.

As for Dryden Hunt, he’ll likely return to the fourth line tomorrow night or the Leafs will look to put Wayne Simmonds on the fourth line as a nuclear deterrent against a hated rival. Either way, I like the idea of ​​Hunt switching things up with Tavares and Marner. He looks like he could have some leverage in the lineup if called up and would bring an interesting physical element to the line. Of course we can wait to see it now.

You can see the importance of a healthy Timothy Liljegren when it comes to the Leafs blueline, and we also see the return of Connor Timmins to the lineup. Sandin-Timmins will be a fun Soo-themed bottom pairing that could start many offensive zones.

Finally, it’s nice to see Samsonov two games in a row (two and a half if you include his relief appearances.) Samsonov is the hot hand right now and he’s potentially the future of the Leafs net. It’s useful to see what he can do with extended playing time, such as being able to go back to Murray if Samsonov starts to struggle. Balancing the two goaltenders seemed fair, but it didn’t seem like it would fill either of their needs. Embracing hot streaks and rewarding strong performances seems to be the way to go from back to back.

As for Murray, any attempt to write him off is premature. He’s given Toronto plenty of good games and just because he’s been pulled in one shaky outing doesn’t mean he’s incapable of coming back stronger next game. There was always going to be some uncertainty with this tandem, but they have so far proven to be a step in the right direction for the Leafs.


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