article

Sheldon Keefe makes some big changes to his top lines.

Keefe showing a different look.

Share on Facebook

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently without gritty forward Zach Hyman and it is unclear at this time when he can be expected to return. Earlier today Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was asked about Hyman's health but as per the National Hockey League's rules regarding player injuries he was unable to provide any real details. He was however asked how about his concern level when it comes to Hyman missing the start of the opening round and suggested that his concern was "low." Good news I suppose but that also seems to leave open the possibility of Hyman actually being out for that long.

Whatever the case may be with Zach Hyman however the Leafs will have to press onward and on Sunday Keefe decided to get creative with some of his top lines given Hyman's absence. The result was some pretty interesting combinations, at least during warm ups, but it remains to be seen if he will actually deploy any of these when Hyman returns, or in a real game scenario. One line had Alex Kerfoot at center flanked by Nick Robertson and Kasperi Kapanen, while another featured William Nylander at the center position with Ilya Mikheyev on one side and Adam Brooks on the other. 

Now you might be noticing some notable names missing here and that is due to the fact that Keefe trotted out a line that featured his big three forwards, Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner. Not only is that a lot of money on a single line but the line also boasts a considerable amount of star power, and for that reason it was the change that drew the most attention. Interestingly enough Keefe had Matthews at center with Tavares and Marner on his flanks, but again it remains to be seen if Keefe will flex this combo in meaningful games moving forward.