How the Leafs' opening night lines could look this season

Aug 5 2022, 4:20 pm

We’re still a few months out from when the Toronto Maple Leafs will debut their opening night lines.

Toronto doesn’t kick off their season for nearly another 10 weeks, when they travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate about everyone’s favourite perennial disappointment.

Here’s what the Leafs’ lines could look like come October 12:

Leafs’ forward lines

  • Michael Bunting-Auston Matthews-Mitchell Marner
  • Alexander Kerfoot-John Tavares-William Nylander
  • Pierre Engvall-David Kämpf-Calle Järnkrok
  • Wayne Simmonds – Nick Abruzzese – Nick Robertson
  • Extras: Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, Adam Gaudette

There’s a little bit of secrecy here, but not much. The top line of Michael Bunting, Auston Matthews, and Mitchell Marner was among the NHL’s best last season and is likely to continue getting the top role. And it’s hard to imagine John Tavares and William Nylander anywhere else but the second line at this point, assuming everyone’s healthy.

Beyond that, there’s a little room for tinkering throughout the rest of the lineup, (and maybe a spot for Kyle Clifford somewhere), but the Leafs’ forward group seems pretty set in stone as of right now.

Leafs’ defence pairings

  • Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
  • Jake Muzzin – Justin Holl
  • Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
  • Extra: Rasmus Sandin

If you were expecting sweeping changes to the d-corps, well, you’ve come to the wrong team. Ilya Lybushkin is no longer on the roster, but uh, that’s about the only major change. There will be some jockey for position between Liljegren, Sandin, and Holl, but it’s a lot of familiar faces in this year’s defensive pairings.

Leafs goalies

  • Matt Murray
  • Ilya Samsonov

The Leafs goalies are the easiest position group on the team to predict who will be playing, and the hardest to predict how exactly they’ll play. Both Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov come into Toronto looking for bounce-back years, sporting .906 and .896 save percentages last season, respectively.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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