Connor Carrick will return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup on Monday, while David Backes is a game-time decision for the Boston Bruins.
The Toronto Maple Leafs‘ defence will receive a boost for Monday night’s showdown against the Boston Bruins with Connor Carrick returning to the lineup after an 11-game absence due to an upper-body injury.
Carrick was paired with Morgan Rielly at practice and it seems the two will play together on Monday. Since sustaining what is suspected to be a shoulder injury on February 21 against the Winnipeg Jets, the Leafs’ blue line has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs.
Mike Babcock has tried Alexey Marchenko and Martin Marincin in the lineup, but he’s also stapled each player to the bench during the third period of games. It’s clear Babcock is having a tough time trusting either player. Hopefully Carrick can provide stability to the Leafs’ defence and Babcock can deploy all three pairings without hesitation down the stretch.
Backes Questionable, Bergeron Will Play
Following morning skate, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said David Backes will be a game-time decision because he is feeling under the weather, according to The Athletic’s James Mirtle.
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Leaning on Boyle
After the disaster against the Florida Panthers, Mike Babcock has been deploying Brian Boyle‘s line for the first shift of every period. I thought this was just something Babcock did in Tampa Bay as a nice way for fans to show their appreciation for Boyle, but, aside from the third period against the Lightning, his line took the first shift of every period against the Chicago Blackhawks, too.
Another interesting tidbit with Boyle’s usage was how Babcock deployed him at will against Jonathan Toews on Saturday. Perhaps we’ll see the towering 6-foot-6 centre against Bergeron on Monday night? I’m sure we’ll see Boyle continue to lineup against top-line centres down the stretch, but either way, it’s an interesting trend to monitor.
No. 4 Turns 69
Not a Leafs related note, but happy birthday, Bobby Orr!
What kind of impact do you think Carrick will have? Is he the long-term partner to play with Rielly? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.