What the Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Lineup Should Look Like

Toronto Maple Leafs - Morgan Rielly (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Morgan Rielly (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
4 of 6
Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 17: Alex Kerfoot #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs    (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /


Sheldon Keefe has shown us all season long (note the protracted Hyman on line three experiments) that he wants a shut-down line he can use when needed.

I am a little skeptical about such things because I think the best defense is having the puck, and defensive specialists tend to not have the puck. I think if you have to face Connor McDavid in a series, that you are much better forcing him to beat Matthews and Marner and Hyman than you are trying to contain him with a dedicated team of checkers.

But, be that as it may, the coach wants a checking line, and a checking line he shall have.  In my opinion Kerfoot-Nash-Mikheyev is the best the Leafs can do here while keeping Hyman and Foligno up top.

Mikheyev is a speedy player who gets off a ton of shots and eventually should get some scoring luck.  I like him a lot, and think it might actually be impossible not to. Nash is a defensive specialist, and while he will have to enter the playoffs having never played for the Leafs, I don’t think that’s too big of a deal, since it’s not like the Leafs are reinventing the wheel when it comes to defensive hockey. If for whatever reason Nash doesn’t play, Pierre Engvall is a perfectly good substitution on this line.

If the Leafs did task this line with trying to stop McDavid, I think they could rest assured that this group will do a better job shutting him down than the Oilers checking line will do against Matthews and Hyman.

Kerfoot and Nash are both elite defensively and this line has just enough speed and talent score a few.