Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Preparing To Play Against The #1 Lines

02/25/2022 at 7:56am EST

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on deck for a Saturday night Original Six date at Little Caesars Arena. The Wings (23-23-6) are coming off a loss to the Colorado Avalanche, and next week's slate features Eastern Conference heavyweights such as the Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers....

The Leafs scored five goals in the final 10 minutes of their previous visit to LCA, on Jan. 29. In hopes of containing one of the NHL's top offenses, Leddy and Seider are together for the first time since their initial pairing was split up five games into the season.

"There were times it wasn’t a great pairing," coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday. "Overall, there were moments of good, moments of not, so we just at that time felt it was the right move to try to mix it a little bit."

Seider, who at 20 already has established himself as the team's No. 1 defenseman, has been paired mostly with Danny DeKeyser (and sometimes with Jordan Oesterle(. But Leddy is a top-notch skater, and the thinking is that will help contain Toronto's top scorer, Auston Matthews, and his linemates.

Matthews entered Thursday ranked second in the league in goals (34) and tied for sixth in points (62), while Mitch Marner has 46 points, good for 42nd in the league. The third member of the line, rookie Michael Bunting, has 35 points and put up a hat trick in that Jan. 29 win over the Wings.

"Leddy is pretty strong on his skates and can battle a little bit against some of those bigger, heavier guys," Blashill said. "Matthews can be such a beast that it’s the way we feel we’ll stay going into the game."

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