After Mitch Marner went down, another blow was handed to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Centre Alexander Kerfoot is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair facial dental fractures, the team announced on Friday.
This meant that head coach Mike Babcock needed to get his lineup reorganized ahead of tonight’s matchup against the Boston Bruins and the bench boss made changes he might not be pleased about.
As reported by team insider Kristen Shilton of TSN who attended the morning skate, veteran forward Jason Spezza moved into Kerfoot’s third line centre spot, in between Ilya Mikheyev and Trevor Moore.
Spezza has often been a healthy scratch since the start of the season as Babcock seems reluctant to use him in the lineup, so much that trade chatter erupted in Toronto that the veteran forward could be moved shortly.
Spezza himself has denied he wants out of Toronto as he hopes to make a great impression to stick into the lineup. With all the injuries and tonight’s chances to impress, Spezza could finally get what he wants.
Here is a look at the projected lineup for tonight as the Leafs host the Bruins. Shilton noted that Dmytro Timashov took the first rush on the fourth line, but Nic Petan came off the ice first while Timashov stayed out with the other projected scratches. So based on that information, Petan-Shore-Gauthier is expected to be the fourth line vs. Boston.