The Toronto Maple Leafs have emerged from an early-season slump to win four straight games and take a 6-4-1 record into Saturday’s matchup with the Boston Bruins.
Not surprisingly, the Maple Leafs lineup is holding steady. Teams tend to keep playing winning lineups and Toronto made some lineup shuffles already. The new-look forward lines seem to have jumpstarted the attack, as star forwards Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, and John Tavares are starting to pick up their production. William Nylander is Toronto’s leading scorer with nine points (5 G, 4 A) in 11 games.
The Maple Leafs made changes on the blueline recently. It appears that Justin Holl is going to be a healthy scratch for a fourth straight game. Holl and Travis Dermott both had their names mentioned in trade rumours this week.
There is one change in the Maple Leafs lineup for Saturday’s game, the backup goaltender. 23-year-old Joseph Woll has been recalled from the Marlies, an indication that Petr Mrazek’s groin injury continues to cause him problems. Woll has a .895 save percentage in three games for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL.
That means another start for Jack Campbell, who has been great for Toronto, posting a .932 save percentage in nine appearances this season.
Here are the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected lines for Game #12 vs. Boston
Bunting – Matthews – Nylander
Kerfoot – Tavares – Marner
Engvall – Kampf – Kase
Ritchie – Spezza – Simmonds
Rielly – Dermott
Muzzin – Brodie
Sandin – Liljegren
The Boston Bruins have played just eight games this season and they have won all four games at home while going 1-3 in four games on the road.
The Bruins have won back-to-back games, against Detroit Thursday and a shootout win vs. Florida last Saturday. Patrice Bergeron scored four goals against the Red Wings.
Boston’s forward group has one notable question mark, as Craig Smith did not practice. Jack Studnicka could find his way to a spot on the second line if Smith is unable to play in the game.
The Boston Bruins defence is steady and is led by Charlie McAvoy, one of the top defencemen in the league.
It looks like Linus Ullmark should get the start for Boston Saturday. A big free agent addition in the offseason, Ullmark has a .927 save percentage in his first four games for the Bruins.
Here are expected lines for the Boston Bruins on Saturday:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Coyle – Smith
DeBrusk – Haula – Lazar
Frederic – Nosek – Kuhlman
Forbort – McAvoy
Grzelcyk – Carlo
Reilly – Clifton
Watch on CBC/Sportsnet and listen on TSN 1050 Radio in Toronto.
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