The goat is back.
Based on this morning’s lineup at practice, it appears that the always smiling, but constantly frustrating Freddie Gauthier will indeed play a game for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season.
Looks like Johnsson will be scratched tonight. Kapanen sticking with Matthews. Ozhiganov also back in.
Leafs projected lineup:
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) October 9, 2018
The move also bumps up Par Lindholm to the third line as a winger, perhaps seeing if he’s a fit alongside Nazem Kadri.
Johnsson hasn’t done much to impress this season… but at the same time.. it’s been three games. Whether Gauthier simply gets a look tonight and is back in the press box against Detroit is unclear.
Any Leafs lineup from here on out should be taken with a grain of salt though. If (hopefully when) William Nylander does return to this lineup, it will likely throw a wrench in the plans of how the Leafs’ forwards line up. It’ll likely see Patrick Marleau bumped off of Auston Matthews’ line, but we’re still not quite sure if Kasperi Kapanen is a long-term fit up top either.
Gauthier’s inclusion on the Leafs’ roster surprised many this year, considering he has yet to hit the 20-point mark in three consecutive AHL seasons. But a relatively strong Calder Cup run saw him produce eight points in 20 games, and well, William Nylander’s absence gave him a shot.
What do you think? Does Gauthier deserve a chance? Or have you seen enough of him over the years and feel like he’s only around due to being a first-round pick?
Let us know in the comments below.