With the regular NHL season coming up in less than a month, I think that it is finally time for me to reveal what I think the Maple Leafs lines are going to look like.
1. Marleau – Matthews – Nylander
Last season, Matthews and Nylander fed Hyman so many great chances that he was not able to capitalize on. Think of the increase in goal numbers if you replace Hyman with Marleau. Matthews and Nylander don’t need a play maker on their line, they need a goal scorer which is exactly what Marleau is.
2. JvR – Bozak – Marner
You don’t fix what ain’t broken and this line will only get better with time, especially with JvR playing for a contract.
3. Komarov – Kadri – Hyman
I really hope that we see this line opening night. Hyman can replace the speed and puck moving ability of Connor Brown and he will have plenty of chances to set up Komarov and Kadri. This may be a shutdown line, but it has plenty of offensive potential.
4. Martin – Moore – Brown
For a fourth line, this is very dangerous. FOR THE OTHER TEAM. Moore and Martin will keep the defenders busy while Brown strolls around and snipes wherever he pleases.
Gardiner – Zaitsev
Hainsey – Rielly
Carrick – Marincin
If you have never listened to the Steve Dangle Podcast, you should. They recently had Gus Katsaros on and he spoke in depth about the Maple Leafs’ defenders which was the main inspiration for my defensive pairings.