Leafs shake up lines after embarrassing playoff loss

Apr 19 2023, 5:53 pm

The Toronto Maple Leafs are switching things up.

Fresh off a disappointing 7-3 loss in Game 1 of the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Leafs revealed a fresh set of forward combinations at today’s practice.

The Leafs were favoured to win the series when lines opened as per Sports Interaction, though Tampa has overtaken those odds by virtue of their 1-0 series lead, at odds of -132 compared to Toronto at +116.

“I don’t think nerves had anything to do with why we don’t defend our net and allow a guy to walk out from below our goal line. Those are all things where we are as good as anybody in the NHL at defending that area of the ice. It didn’t happen tonight,” Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe said of if Toronto felt nervous heading into last night’s game. “That is disappointing, but I think it would be too easy to chalk it up to nerves at this point.”

Per TSN’s Mark Masters, here’s how the Leafs lined up at practice today.

Forward lines

  • Calle Jarnkrok – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
  • Alex Kerfoot – John Tavares – William Nylander
  • Matthew Knies – Ryan O’Reilly – Noel Acciari
  • Zach Aston-Reese – David Kampf – Sam Lafferty
  • Extras: Wayne Simmonds, Michael Bunting

With Bunting expected to be suspended for at least Game 2 due to a hit last night, Calle Jarnkrok joined the Leafs’ top unit, while Matthew Knies appears to be on the team’s third line for his NHL playoff debut tomorrow.

Defensive pairings

  • TJ Brodie – Jake McCabe
  • Morgan Rielly – Luke Schenn
  • Mark Giordano – Justin Holl
  • Extras: Erik Gustafsson, Timothy Liljegren, Conor Timmins


  • Ilya Samsonov
  • Joseph Woll

While their odds of winning the series took a hit last night, Toronto is actually still ahead of the Lightning when it comes to Stanley Cup odds, coming in sixth league-wide at +1151, while Tampa is seventh at +1370. Boston leads the pack at +266, followed by Carolina, Colorado, Edmonton, and the New York Rangers.

Game 2 of the series is set for Thursday night, where the Leafs once again host the Lightning for a 7:30 ET puck drop.

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