The heat is getting turned up on the Maple Leafs after poor back-to-back performances against San Jose and Pittsburgh. It does not get any easier for Toronto Monday as they visit a Carolina Hurricanes team that is 4-0, having outscored opponents 18-7. Frederik Andersen has provided stellar goaltending for the Hurricanes.
Frustration has been evident recently with the Maple Leafs and as they finished up Saturday’s blowout loss at Pittsburgh, head coach Sheldon Keefe shuffled the lines. It looks like that shuffling is going to stick for Monday’s matchup in Carolina.
Most notably, Michael Bunting and William Nylander are moving up to play alongside Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner is sliding down to play with John Tavares and Alexander Kerfoot. When the big guns aren’t scoring making some changes is worth a try.
On defence, Travis Dermott will return to the Maple Leafs lineup. Dermott was replaced by Timothy Liljegren against Pittsburgh, but Dermott has been relatively effective in his third pair role this season.
Jack Campbell had been excellent this season prior to Saturday’s loss at Pittsburgh, so he will return to the starter’s role against Carolina. Campbell has a .916 save percentage in five appearances this season.
Toronto’s expected lineup for the seventh game of the season:
Bunting – Matthews – Nylander
Kerfoot – Tavares – Marner
Engvall – Kampf – Kase
Ritchie – Spezza – Simmonds
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Sandin – Dermott
Frederik Andersen is expected to start in net for Carolina. The former Maple Leafs netminder has been excellent early, posting a .944 save percentage in four starts.
There are no changes to the Carolina lineup, which comes as expected for a Hurricanes team that has been rolling early.
Among the new faces going for the Hurricanes this season, they have Jesperi Kotkaniemi – he of the successful offer sheet signing in the summer – skating on the first line and veteran centre Derek Stepan is on the fourth line.
The Hurricanes brought in Tony DeAngelo, Ethan Bear, and Ian Cole on defence while adding goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta.
Here is the Hurricanes’ expected lineup for Monday’s game.
Kotkaniemi – Aho – Teravainen
Svechnikov – Trocheck – Necas
Niederreiter – Staal – Fast
Martinook – Stepan – Lorentz
Slavin – DeAngelo
Skjei – Pesce
Cole – Bear
Watch on Sportsnet and listen on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto.
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