Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 Things to Expect Early in 2023-24

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 21: The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs fight in the third period during a game at Amalie Arena on April 21, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 21: The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs fight in the third period during a game at Amalie Arena on April 21, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 31: Head coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Jack Dempsey/Getty Images) /

Keefe Searches for Optimal Line Combinations

One of the major contrasts between Keefe and his predecessor, Mike Babcock, is the willingness to shake things up.

Well, that and Keefe’s unwillingness to stupidly commandeer his player;s phones. The only celly Keefe wants to see is after a goal is scored.

Keefe consistently juggles his lines for a variety of reasons.

Now that he has some new jersey names to look at from behind the bench, look for Keefe to search for the perfect blend of chemistry. Nothing will be off limits.

Remember that teams rarely play pre-season games with their full squads, so Keefe won’t have much opportunity to mix and match until the real stuff begins.

The same goes for the defense pairings. Klingberg is an offensive-minded guy, who is trying to repair some deficiencies, so putting him back there with the right partner will be key.

With training camp only just begginning, the Leafs are already showing a willingness to experiment by putting William Nylander at centre on the third line.  Look for Keefe to keep experimenting until he finds lines that work.

Next. The Leafs Wasted Over 20 Picks Across 3 Years. dark

Regardless of how it unfolds, there is one certainty that has everyone excited: Toronto Maple Leafs hockey is back.