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Giordano, Kampf return to lineup as Maple Leafs begin three-game homestand without Rielly


It’s been a chaotic last 60+ hours since the finish of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators game on Saturday night.

At the time of writing this, no suspension has been announced yet for Toronto’s Morgan Rielly and his actions on Ottawa’s Ridly Greig after taking a slap shot into the empty net, and according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, due to the weather in New York today, the in-person hearing has been moved to a virtual hearing.

On top of Rielly’s pending suspension and the Maple Leafs already without goalie Joseph Woll (lower-body injury) and Calle Jarnkrok (broken knuckle), there is some good news as they begin a three-game homestand. According to Sheldon Keefe, Mark Giordano and David Kampf will return to the lineup tonight against the St. Louis Blues.

However, despite Giordano and Kampf’s return to the lineup, Conor Timmins and Martin Jones, who both missed yesterday’s practice, are sidelined. According to Keefe, Timmins has mono and is out indefinitely. Jones is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, and the club will call Dennis Hildeby up from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) to back Ilya Samsonov up for tonight’s game.

Given how the season has gone so far for this Toronto team, with all the inconsistency, a moment like this is where every player needs to come together and play as one unit. History shows that Toronto has been good with multiple everyday players out of the lineup. Just last season, Toronto lost Rielly, Brodie and Muzzin within weeks, and the Maple Leafs went on an impressive 15-game point streak with half an AHL blue line.

They’re kind of in a similar situation this season. With no Rielly and Timmins, although he has primarily served as the seventh/eighth defenseman, a blue line that consists of McCabe, Brodie, Liljegren, Benoit, Lagesson, Giordano, and Lajoie does not sound sexy at all. But if there was ever a time for the Leafs to do something Leafy, it’s playing their best hockey with their best defenseman out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner

Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander

Noah Gregor – Max Domi – Nick Robertson

Pontus Holmberg – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves

TJ Brodie – Timothy Liljegren

Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe

Mark Giordano – William Lagesson

One lineup note: According to Keefe, with Giordano and Kampf returning and Timmins out indefinitely, there is also one game-time decision ahead of tonight’s game. It’s unclear who is the potential game-time decision, but one has to wonder if it is a forward: could Max Lajoie slide into the lineup, forcing Toronto to play 11/7 tonight? Bobby McMann was off the ice early this morning, signalling he’s in the lineup tonight, but Keefe also confirmed Reaves is in as well, so it’ll be interesting to see who turns out to be the game-time decision.

St. Louis Blues’ lineup:

Pavel Buchnevich – Robert Thomas – Jordan Kyrou

Jake Neighbours – Brayden Schenn – Kasperi Kapanen

Brandon Saad – Kevin Hayes – Sammy Blais

Alexey Toropchenko – Oskar Sundqvist – Nathan Walker

Nick Leddy – Colton Parayko

Torey Krug – Matt Kessel

Marco Scandella – Calle Rosen

Projected goalies:

Ilya Samsonov (TOR) vs Jordan Binnington (STL)

Broadcast:

TSN4, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT

(Projected lineups from dailyfaceoff.com)



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