Despite Win, the Toronto Maple Leafs Need Some Changes for Game 3

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two / Rich Gagnon/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs split the first two games of the series in Boston, which is about the best that could have been hoped for.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs to split the series while playing without William Nylander is incredible and a huge indication that they can finally beat the Bruins.

Game two was a much better effort than game one - specifically, Ilya Samsonov was much better and gave the Leafs a chance to win.

It wasn't a perfect game, and it could have gone either way, but the Leafs come home to Toronto with a split and should be really happy about how things turned out so far.

Despite Win, the Toronto Maple Leafs Need Some Changes for Game 3

The Leafs are being secretive, so who knows if William Nylander will play or not, but I would guess that he probably does.

Assuming Nylander is good to go, whose spot does he take? Nick Robertson is the likely candidate based on Keefe's past behavior, but he has had a Grade A scoring chance in each of the last two games and played well overall.

I would take out Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Reaves, Connor Dewar or even Matthew Knies before Robertson, but I doubt Keefe is soliciting advice.

On defense I'd swap in TJ Brodie and Connor Timmins for Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson. Lyubushkin was at least serviceable in game two, but he was bad in game one, and Edmundson was bad in both games.

The puck-moving of Connor Timmins is something the Leafs could really use. In the first two games it is exceedingly clear that the Leafs lack of mobility and puck-moving ability from the blue-line really hurt their ability to create offense.

In net, Samsonov hasn't been great and you'd hate to leave Woll on the bench for a long time making him ice-cold when you need him, so I'd start him in game three. He has only played once in the last 15 days so it wouldn't be the worst thing to get him some game time.

It's not like Samsonov has been great, and obviously changing the goalie after a win is an unusual move, but leaving Woll ice-cold when Samsonov isn't even that good just seems like a bad move.


Regardless of what chances the Leafs make, I like their chances because they haven't gotten anything this series from Marner or Nylander and it's still tied. If Nylander returns and Marner steps up his game, the Leafs can book their tickets to Florida.