Toronto Maple Leafs: Thoughts on Sandin, Dermott, and Matthews

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 27: William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game tying goal against the Edmonton Oilers with teammates John Tavares #91 and Justin Holl #3 during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 27, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Oilers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 27: William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game tying goal against the Edmonton Oilers with teammates John Tavares #91 and Justin Holl #3 during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on March 27, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Oilers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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MONTREAL, QC – APRIL 28: Nick Foligno #71 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC – APRIL 28: Nick Foligno #71 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Thought #3: Updated Playoff Lineup

Galchenyuk-Matthews-Marner

Robertson-Tavares-Nylander

Foligno-Engvall-Mikheyev

Kerfoot-Spezza-Simmonds

Extras: Thornton

Following Kyle Dubas’ acquisition of Columbus Blue Jacket’s captain Nick Foligno, I detailed how Sheldon Keefe may look to put his 12 forwards together come game one against (likely) the Montreal Canadiens.

This was without Zach Hyman in the picture as at the time of that writing, there was no news on the extent of the knee injury he suffered at the hands of Alex Edler. But we have since learned the Leafs  most versatile forward should be ready for the playoffs (and possibly before then), so here is my updated playoff lineup:

Hyman-Matthews-Marner

Galchenyuk-Tavares-Nylander

Foligno-Nash-Mikheyev

Thornton-Spezza-Simmonds

Extras: Kerfoot, Robertson, Brooks, Engvall

Similarly, a silver lining in the injury to Zach Bogosian has been the ability to experiment with a few different bottom-pairings down the stretch. The talk of Leafsnation right now is the dazzling display of talent and strength steaming from Leafs 2018 first-round pick Rasmus Sandin.

With Keefe mentioning Sandin will remain in the Torotno Maple Leafs lineup up until the postseason, it looks like the team wants to give him as much runway as possible to see if he will be able to handle the intensified spirits of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And believe me, he is ready. As such, my defense pairings would be as follows:

Rielly-Brodie

Muzzin-Holl

Sandin-Bogosian

Extras: Dermott, Hutton