The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens tonight. There’s no chance the Maple Leafs will be looking past the Canadiens toward the tough schedule coming up. The last time the two teams met, the Canadiens won 5-2 on February 21. 

Furthermore, the Canadiens record is 9-4-3 since February 17. The team might be in last place; but, interim coach Martin St. Louis has them playing better than they’ve played in a long time. They’ll be coming off a 4-3 home loss to Eastern Conference-leading Florida Panthers. The Maple Leafs beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in their last game.

In this post, I’ll look at some of the changes that the Maple Leafs will face as the team readies to play the Habs. The team flies home to face the Panthers on Sunday.

Related: How Much Will Maple Leafs’ Mark Giordano Play this Season?

Item One: Erik Kallgren Gets the Start in Net

Erik Kallgren is coming off a loss where he looked mortal after two straight wins. He’ll start tonight against the Canadiens. As noted, this game will be the first half of the team’s back-to-back games. Petr Mrazek will be in goal on Sunday against the Panthers. 

In two games, Erik Kallgren has stabilized the Maple Leafs’ most precarious position on the ice.

✍️: @lukefoxjukebox

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 18, 2022

Kallgren has a 2-1-0 record this year this season. He’s been playing well, and his numbers show it. He’s posted a goals-against-average of  2.32 and a save percentage of .930 in four appearances. 

Item Two: Petr Mrazek Will Start on Sunday Against the Panthers in Toronto

Petr Mrazek will be in goal for Sunday night’s game against the Panthers in Toronto. Mrazek is coming off a game where he actually looked comfortable in the net. He had a 20-save game on Wednesday versus New Jersey. 

That victory pushed Mrazek’s season’s record to 11-6-0 on the season. His goals-against-average is 3.39, and his save percentage is .885 in those 18 games. 

Related: Maple Leafs Rasmus Sandin Put on LTIR: Nuts, He’ll Be Missed 

Item Three: Ondrej Kase’s Isn’t Ready to Play Yet

After the good news that Ondrej Kase’s head injury didn’t seem too bad, the report that he’s not yet started to skate and won’t be expected to be available for the next few games is sad news. Could Kase’s career be in jeopardy because of his continuing concussions?  

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Ondrej Kase exited Saturday’s game after taking an elbow from Nashville Predators’ Matt Duchene to the head.

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 20, 2022

A week ago today, in a March 19 game against the Nashville Predators, Kase took a hit to the head. He hasn’t skated since. There’s no word on when he might return. 

Item Four: Jake Muzzin Was in Practice Yesterday

In better concussion news, Jake Muzzin practiced Friday. It was in a non-contact red jersey; but, still, that’s good news for the team.

Muzzin was even able to engage in some contact drills, so that suggests that his return to the ice is looking closer. The rugged defenseman’s last game was against the Canadiens on February 21. 

Jake Muzzin Toronto Maple Leafs

The last word I heard about Muzzin’s status in regard to his return to the Maple Leafs’ roster was that Kyle Dubas said he wouldn’t hold Muzzin back during the season if he was medically able to return. That’s a salary-cap issue; however, the issue for the team’s success is if Muzzin can come back at full speed for the playoffs in about six weeks. 

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 3-2 Win Over the Devils

The post Maple Leafs’ Line Combinations & Changes for Predators Game appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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