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) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs – Frederik Andersen (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Defense and Goalies

The Toronto Maple Leafs should stick with the defensive pairings they used the other night in their victory against the Jets.  That is Rielly/Brodie, Muzzin/Holl, and Sandin/Dermott.

Zach Bogosian is injured, but he should be the seventh defenseman when returns, even though the Leafs will likely make the mistake of sitting Dermott instead.  I wrote all about it here, so I won’t go into it too much now, other than to say that Sandin is obviously too good to be sitting on the bench, and you’re not going to lose games because of who you choose out of Bogosian or Dermott.

The goalie thing is a bit more complicated.

Hockey is a game that involves people with feelings who make subjective decisions, so any time you take away the job a beloved star player has held for years, there are going to be problems.  So in this situation, you’d think Jack Campbell would have to be quite a bit better than Andersen to make it worth switching.

Campbell has been great this year and given the general unpredictability of goalies, I don’t see how you can argue against playing someone who has been so hot.

But who knows?

All I know is that Andersen hasn’t inspired confidence in a long time, and that hockey is a sport where success, in what is by far the most important position (goalie), relies  as much on the psychological as it is does the physical.

Campbell has played, Andersen hasn’t. Campbell has played well, Andersen hasn’t. Those are facts. My subjective perception is that the team will rally around and believe in Campbell in a way they won’t with Andersen. Who knows if that is true, but I just feel like Campbell is like this great story because he’s such a great guy who is finally able to harness his talent and live up to his potential.

Next. Does a Healthy Leafs Team Have Any Use for Thornton and Simmonds?. dark

Therefore they should play Jack Campbell in net for every game of the playoffs even if Andersen is 100% healthy.