It was a in a potential North Division playoff preview Monday, and the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. With the loss, the first-place Maple Leafs now have a record of 5-3-0 against the Canadiens, whom they are likely to meet during the first round of the playoffs. However, if the Canadiens continue to win and the Winnipeg Jets continue to lose – they lost again tonight – the teams might be reversed. That would mean the Maple Leafs could play the Jets.
A number of roster moves were made on game day that will impact the team into the near future. Here’s a report of those moves.
Justin Holl unfortunately was hit in the face with a puck on Saturday and didn’t play in Monday’s game. He did attend practice, where Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe admitted that Holl was feeling “uncomfortable.” However, Keefe also reported that he didn’t think the 29-year old defenseman would miss time after Monday.
Holl has had a breakout season during 2020-21, and has scored 19 points. That’s good, but what’s better is that he’s formed an effective shutdown second-pairing with partner Jake Muzin. Because Holl missed the game, young Swedish defenseman Timothy Liljegren jumped into the lineup in his place.
Timothy Liljegren was promoted from the taxi squad to the active roster for Monday’s game against the Canadiens. He then went on to skate almost 15 minutes of ice time in the loss. However, although Liljegren has played well, he’s scored no points during his two NHL games of the season.
The Maple Leafs promoted Mac Hollowell to the taxi squad Monday. Hollowell hasn’t yet played an NHL game; however, he does have five points in 22 AHL games this season. There’s not much chance that he’ll see time on the active roster this season. Look for him more in seasons to come. BTW, the link below describes his great friendship with Jumbo Joe Thornton.
Along with Hollowell, the Maple Leafs also promoted Kristians Rubins to the taxi squad on Monday. Also similar to Hollowell, Rubins has yet to play a game in the NHL and likely won’t this season. He’s scored a goal and two assists in 19 AHL games during the 2020-21 AHL season.
The Maple Leafs reassigned Teemu Kivihalme to the AHL Monday. Kivihalme has scored nine points in 16 AHL games this season but has yet to make his NHL debut. One interesting about the young left-shot defenseman is that his scoring has become more prolific over the seasons he’s played.
Although it’s too early to tell if this news warrants a roster move or not depends upon the expected update on his status, which should come before this Thursday’s second game against the Canadiens, Maple Leafs’ newcomer Nick Foligno was injured during Monday’s game. Apparently, Foligno suffered an upper-body injury; and, when he left the game, he didn’t return on the evening.
During this game, Foligno was on the ice for just 9:05 before he had to leave. There will be an update later, but if the 33-year-old former Columbus Blue Jackets’ captain has to miss any time, he’ll be missed.