The Toronto Maple Leafs took to the ice in Boston with a different look on Friday. Randy Carlyle mixed up the forward groupings in anticipation for tomorrow night’s game against the Bruins. The first line was reunited with Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel, and Joffrey Lupul back skating together. This meant James van Riemsdyk slid to the second unit with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin.
Ryan Hamilton made a surprise appearance skating with Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov, while the final line saw Clarke MacArthur drop down with Colton Orr and Jay McClement. Inserting Hamilton in favour of Frazer McLaren makes a lot of sense because dressing two tough guys is overkill in the playoffs. Not to mention MacArthur moving down a notch gives McClement something to work with. Of course things could all change come tomorrow night, but the fact that Carlyle is tinkering with ideas to spark the offense is encouraging.
Kessel’s return to practice confirms that yesterday’s absence was indeed simply for maintenance. There was more good news in the fact that defenseman Cody Franson was also back after bruising his foot in Game 1. Ben Scrivens, however, was not on the ice as he returned home to attend his grandfather’s funeral. Drew MacIntyre was called up just for the practice, as Scrivens is expected back in time for Game 2.