The Leafs dropped a 2-1 decision to Boston on Thursday. Some are pointing to the Leafs performance as evidence that they can keep up with and possibly beat Boston in the playoffs. It’s odd to look at a loss that way, but to each their own.
My take is that the star players (Morgan Rielly and William Nylander, especially) could have done more to prevent the tying goal and didn’t appear to take any of the blame from the coach. It’s the star players that have continually disappeared when the games have mattered the most, so this isn’t surprising, but one would hope that they will be better when they face off against Tampa in the 1st round of the playoffs next week.
For now, they need to find a way to ramp up the intensity against Montreal, which is something they have rarely been able to accomplish.
As for the question of the day:
With the return of Ryan O’Reilly, the team reverted back to playing 12 forwards and 6 defenders. Once the playoffs start, what does your lineup look like? Mine looks like this:
Samsonov/Whichever backup is healthy
This would leave Timothy Liljegren on the outside looking in, but that should be the final time this happens to him. He has progressed really well and, based on what he did this year, I think he should be in the lineup, but right now they need experience and this group brings that. By this time next year, if he continues to progress, it will be impossible to keep him out of the lineup, but for now the tough choices need to be made.