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KEEFE SHUFFLES THE DECK, INSERTS ROOKIE SENSATION ROBERTSON, STARTS CAMPBELL IN REMATCH WITH SENS

Following Friday night's 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre, the Leafs have elected to shake things up a bit by removing Alexander Barabanov from the lineup and inserting rookie sensation Nick Robertson - who will make his regular season NHL debut on Saturday night.

Barabanov has been relatively unnoticeable through two games for the Leafs, albeit in a combined 9:46 of total ice-time between Wednesday's opener against the Habs and Fridays tilt with the Sens.

No word yet on whether Robertson will remain in Barabanov's spot on the Leafs' 4th line or if Keefe plans to use him up and down the lineup as the game progresses, but I would expect the latter to be a more reasonable expectation than the former. A player of Robertson's offensive skillset is far more likely to be utilized more than a mere 4 minutes and 19 seconds in a 4th line role than not.

The Robertson for Barabanov swap is not the only move that Sheldon Keefe announced for Saturday's game in Ottawa, as the Leafs' bench boss has confirmed that Frederik Andersen will have the night off entirely after competing hard in full team workouts on Saturday morning. This means that newcomer Aaron Dell will suit up as the backup in behind Jack Campbell, who will see his first start of the season.



Looks as though the Leafs are following through with their promise to utilize all three goaltenders this season.

If the Leafs have any hope of leaving Ottawa with their pride intact, they must come away with a decisive victory on Saturday, which definitely makes for an exciting rematch in the second half of the back-to-back against a hungry Thomas Chabot, Tim Stützle and Ottawa Senators team that pulled off the upset on Friday.


MIKE ARMENTI
JANUARY 16, 2021  (17H26)
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