Maple Leafs Rumors: Coach to Make Lineup Changes Ahead of Game 2

The Toronto Maple Leafs ran into the travelling beast in game one of the second round as the Florida Panthers came to town and stole the first game. The Panthers were led by Matthew Tkachuk who has taken his game to another level, finishing the night with three assists and nine hits. Look for Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe to make some adjustments ahead of Game 2, with the following likely on the table.

Back to 11F/7D Set Up

There's been a lot of talk about the Panthers speedy forecheck and the Maple Leafs may need to insert Erik Gustafsson back into the lineup to help boost the speed on the back end and keep the defensemen fresh for the late stages of the game. It's likely if this is the way Keefe goes with his game two lineup, Zach Aston-Reese would come out as the odd forward out.

Inserting Sam Lafferty Back In

The fourth line of the Maple Leafs hardly played in game one as Aston-Reese finished with 6:21, Alexander Kerfoot with 9:56 and David Kampf played 10:30. Lafferty's speed matches well against the Panthers and he's a key contributor to the team's penalty kill, among the league leaders this season in shorthanded goals. Lafferty may be in tough to play if Keefe adds another blueliner, but if he doesn't look for Lafferty to dress instead of Aston-Reese.

The Maple Leafs won't call Thursday night's game two a must win, but it's as close as you can get. Going down 2-0 and then heading on the road is tough for any team during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and especially so for a team who has never seen the second round together.

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