Leafs Game Preview #17: Murray’s Return

Jordie Benn smiling after Saturday's win against the Canucks Photo: Maple Leafs Twitter

After being sidelined for weeks, Murray is finally ready to return, as he will be starting tonight versus the Penguins. Murray was injured in morning skate on October 15th as he was slated to play against his former team, the Senators. It’s interesting enough that tonight his return is against the team he played on before the Senators. The Leafs will look to show they can compete for a full 60 minutes as they are ready to build momentum nearing the end of their first quarter of the season.

Leafs Projected Lineup

Forwards

Bunting – Matthews – Nylander

Kerfoot – Tavares – Marner

Engvall – Holmberg – Järnkrok

Aston-Reese – Kämpf – Malgin

Defense

Rielly – Benn

Giordano – Holl

Sandin – Liljegren

Goalies

Murray

Källgren

Penguins Projected Lineup

Forwards

Guentzel – Crosby – Rust

Zucker – Malkin – Rakell

McGinn – Carter – Heinen

Blueger – Poehling –Archibald

Defense

Pettersson –Letang

Joseph – Petry

Dumoulin – Rutta

Goalies

Jarry

DeSmith

Three Things to Look Out For

Murray

As previously mentioned, Murray will start tonight as he returns from injury. There are questions about the player and his health, but there will also be questions about his mobility. Look for Murray to prove doubters wrong with a solid outing tonight.

Holmberg

Holmberg is back in the lineup tonight as the third-line center. Holmberg showed a solid camp and had a high hockey IQ. I’m sure he will look more at ease now that he doesn’t likely have as many jitters as in his first NHL game. Look for him to use his hockey knowledge to make quick decisions with the puck.

Defense

With the news of Muzzin being reevaluated in February and the nature of his injury, it seems less and less likely that he will play another game this season. The Leafs also announced TJ Brodie being sidelined for a couple of weeks as he recovers from an oblique injury. When there are injuries, that makes room for younger talent to shine. We saw that with the call-up of Mac Hollowell, and it will be interesting to see if he gets any NHL games. The injuries also mean that Dubas will give some runway to Sandin and Liljegren to see how they continue to develop. Benn will also get his fair shot as he plays with Rielly tonight.

You can watch tonight’s game on TSN4 at 7:00 PM EST.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Twitter @nathan_bondy.

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