Toronto Maple Leafs Will Johnsson or Martin get a chance in playoffs?

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 17: Andreas Johnsson
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 17: Andreas Johnsson /

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ lines and pairings are set for Game 1 against the Bruins. Is there a chance of seeing other players such as Andreas Johnsson and Matt Martin?

The Toronto Maple Leafs‘ forward lines have been set for Game 1 against the Boston Bruins:

Zach HymanAuston MatthewsWilliam Nylander

Patrick MarleauNazem KadriMitch Marner

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakConnor Brown

Leo KomarovTomas PlekanecKasperi Kapanen

This is pretty much the optimal lineup for the Leafs. They’ve played with this group in the last week of the season and it is a balanced offensive approach with defensively responsible players.

The case can be made for Andreas Johnsson to play ahead of Komarov, but Mike Babcock always says the tie goes to the veteran. Komarov has played 327 games in a Leafs uniform and Babcock won’t just give up his spot to a rookie who’s played just nine times.

He has Babcock’s trust and has played the third-most minutes on the penalty kill, with a strong faceoff percentage at 55 percent.

However, in the playoffs, every player’s leash gets tightened and the Leafs have the depth to quickly replace the ones who are not up to par. Babcock has really fallen in love with Johnsson’s style of play.

His speed and his ferociousness in the defensive zone, along with his ability to play both on the powerplay and penalty kill are huge assets. If any winger on the fourth line starts to underperform, it’s almost a guarantee that Babcock will replace him with Johnsson.

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In nine NHL games played, Johnsson has two goals and an assist. Since he is a Marlies graduate, he already knows a lot of players on the Maple Leafs (Nylander, Zach Hyman, Travis Dermott and Connor Carrick).

This helped his transition into the big leagues and will assist him whenever he is slotted into the lines.

The Bruins are a big, tough team. With a well-known player pest like Brad Marchand and the referees swallowing their whistles for the playoffs, the series will quickly get physical.  If the Leafs can’t seem to hold their own and the stars are getting taken advantage of, be on the lookout for Matt Martin.

Before you groan, Martin did have a better statistical season compared to last season. In 50 games played, he had three goals and nine assists for 12 points. He already beat his previous season point totals (nine) in 32 fewer games.

He adds physicality to the fourth line and could *maybe* be a Marchand deterrent or a player Babcock can bring in if the Bruins’ physicality becomes an issue.

Both Johnsson and Martin have been good soldiers for the Maple Leafs and have proven they deserve a spot on the roster.

Next: 4 key matchups against Bruins

Unfortunately for them, the Leafs are just a little too deep for them to have a spot in Game 1. However, if anybody slips up, be on the lookout for their names on the lineup card.