Critiquing the Leafs lines before they hit the ice

Bless Sheldon Keefe’s soul. He’s given us the unique opportunity to start reacting to the Leafs lines before they hit the ice tomorrow. Of course he didn’t give us his defense pairings, so he’s left us a little bit wanting, but we’ve got the big stuff to dissect early.

Maple Leafs lines to start:
Thornton – Matthews – MarnerVesey – Tavares – NylanderMikheyev – Kerfoot – HymanSimmonds – Spezza – Barabanov
Outside looking in to start: Robertson, Boyd, Engvall, Anderson
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 3, 2021

So we’ll go line by line through these, but first line left wing Joe Thornton deserves some special recognition. After weeks of trying to figure out if Thornton was going to be the fourth line center or if he was going to grab the 3C position from Alexander Kerfoot, we’ve now learned that Sheldon Keefe has been galaxy braining his lineup card the entire time, and we’ve really got some interesting combinations to look at.
The four players that James Mirtle lists as being on the outside looking in looks like the lock for the taxi squad forwards, and potentially the roster scratched player as well. Boyd would potentially the roster guy of that group, as …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Marlies Name Greg Moore as New Head Coach

Did you hear about Sheldon Keefe’s promotion? Pretty big stuff, right?
Roughly two weeks ago, the long-time Marlies bench boss finally got the call-up fans had been waiting for, jumping into the NHL to take over a little team called the Toronto Maple Leafs and leaving his former employer without a coach.
Until now, that is.
Having gone about their business with a tandem of assistants, A.J. MacLean and Rob Davidson, since Keefe’s departure on November 20th, the Marlies opted to install a permanent fixture moving forward and officially named Greg Moore the seventh head coach in franchise history.
The news, which broke late Sunday night, came shortly after Hockey Night in Canada’s “Headlines” segment discussed the growing interest in the Marlies job during Saturday’s broadcast.
Moore now joins the Marlies after spending parts of the past two seasons with the USHL’s Chicago Steel, of which he was head coach. As one would expect, his ties to the Maple Leafs organization run relatively deep.
Not only did Toronto select one of Moore’s top players, Nick Abruzzese, in the fourth round of the draft this very summer, but both the Leafs and the Steel …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation