May 20, 2022

A lineup choice could possibly be veteran Jason Spezza, who was a wholesome scratch within the first two video games.

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There’s a chance of a Maple Leafs roster change in Recreation 3 in opposition to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Coach Sheldon Keefe on Thursday wouldn’t have routinely nominated Kyle Clifford, who was suspended for Recreation 2, again Friday night time when the best-of-seven sequence strikes to Tampa.

“I have not decided about tomorrow’s squad but,” Keefe stated.

“We’ve time to course of it. It was a quick flip. We’ve not dug too deep into something for tomorrow but.

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“We’ll see how the group is doing by way of well being and make selections from there.”

On Thursday, the Leafs didn’t observe, however met on the Ford Efficiency Middle earlier than a visit to Florida.

It will likely be fascinating to see what Keef in the end decides. As a lot as he needs Clifford and Wayne Simmonds’ physicality to play a serious position in a 1-1 sequence, he cannot danger them taking unruly penalties.

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Nevertheless, that is precisely what occurred in Recreation 1, when Clifford boarded Tampa ahead Ross Colton and was suspended for one sport, and Recreation 2, when Simmonds took two minors after the whistle and the Lightning scored in each.

The second sport was not within the spirit of the Leafs by way of penalties. Seven energy performs for Tampa — they scored in three of them — have been the best scoring in opposition to the Leafs in any sport this season. The earlier excessive was six and it solely occurred as soon as, on April 5 in opposition to Florida.

“I feel within the league, to be sincere, it was a little bit of a shock the way in which the video games have been known as,” Keefe stated. “There have been a whole lot of penalties, a whole lot of energy play.

“I have not watched or adopted all of the video games, however it looks as if there’s been an actual surge in requires sequence to begin. There was a whole lot of interference, obstruction kind issues that you just’re not used to seeing so laborious presently. It created a unique really feel than what you anticipated to see on the present.”

Veteran Jason Spezza, who was wholesome within the first two video games, might have been an choice for Keefe. Keef will not have to fret in regards to the 38-year-old’s indiscipline, and Spezza will add inventive aptitude to the second powerplay squad, which incorporates Ondrej Kase, Ilya Mikheev and Michael Banting.

If Spezza will get there, what can Keefe count on from him?

“I count on a veteran participant like him who is aware of how one can play won’t panic,” Keefe stated. “He trusts his skill and his ability.”

tkoshan@postmedia.com

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