3rd line: Kerfoot – Kampf – Nylander
Another line that spent a bulk of their time in the offensive zone, keeping the opposition on their heels no matter what line Anaheim threw against them.
Aside from a few gaffes from their defensemen getting them hemmed in their own zone, this line rarely found themselves in trouble of conceding a goal. All three used excellent stick checking to frustrate the Ducks in all three zones, and used their speed to push the puck the other way with every turnover.
A line with three excellent two way players, such as this one, could play against any teams top line without coach Keefe having to break a sweat. The success of this line will be imperative to Keefe’s plan, and judging by their performance in this game, I can see this experiment become a permanent fixture. Even though none of their scoring chances ended up in the back of the net, I think Keefe has to be happy with how this line performed.
Despite the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs left with a win only by a short margin, the score is not indicative of how lopsided the game was. Taking into consideration that this was their first game in this configuration, all three lines looked great together. It will be very interesting to watch the continued growth of chemistry between all of these lines, and how Keefe continues to balance the minutes of his superstars.