84 days since his last NHL start, Joseph Woll makes his long-awaited return to the crease as the Maple Leafs look to get back on the winning track against the Coyotes (7:00 p.m. EST, Sportsnet Ontario).

As we saw in the 6-2 loss to the Golden Knights on Tuesday, the Leafs are working through the kinks caused by some of the awkward alignments on their six-lefties blue line, but if we’re honest — and this is said with no disrespect to Timothy Liljegren, who is a solid defenseman — the team’s blue line shouldn’t be Liljegren’s absence away from being in a real spot of bother.

That will be a constant talking point in the days ahead as the Leafs now look for an external solution not named Chris Tanev at the right defense position before the March 8th trade deadline, but at least for tonight’s purposes, it really shouldn’t matter. This is a mostly healthy Leafs team at home against a bottom-feeding Coyotes team that won’t have Clayton Keller in the lineup (Alex Kerfoot moves to their top-line LW, just in time for his video tribute at the SBA and presumably his obligatory goal against the Leafs).

Especially with the Red Wings refusing to go away in the playoff race and nipping at Toronto’s heels in the divisional playoff race, these are two points the Leafs need to take care of, and this is a statistic the Leafs should absolutely put an end to tonight:

Game Day Quotes

Max Domi on Sheldon Keefe getting kicked out of the last game by the officials:

He wants to win just as much as any guy in this room does. He has been driving the ship for this group for the last few years and has done a good job. He has our back and we have his back. As a group, we love seeing him get fired up like that and bring some emotion.

We started out great and didn’t finish the way we wanted it to, but Keefer was upset with what was going on, and he had every right to be. We have his back just like he does for us. I loved it.

Domi on the standout attributes of Keefe compared to his many previous coaches in the NHL:

I have been really lucky, man. I have had some great coaches — Rick Tocchet, Dave Tippett, and Rod Brind’Amour were unbelievable. Luke Richardson might be one of the best human beings in the game of hockey, and obviously, I had Pete DeBoer as well. That was great.

Now I get Keefer, who is younger compared to those guys, but it seems like he has been around for a long, long time. I played against him in junior. The one thing that stands out with a guy like Sheldon is that his attention to detail is second to none. He doesn’t miss much.

He loves things done a certain way. Until you execute it that way consistently, he is going to keep showing it and trying to drag you that way. That is what you want from a coach. He sets the bar higher and higher every single day.

Everyone in here enjoys playing for him. I enjoy playing for him. It has been great.

Domi on where his line with Tyler Bertuzzi and William Nylander can improve defensively to support its offensive contributions:

I think the best defense is playing good offense, so we’ll keep with that and clean up a few things — maybe a little more communication coming back to our own zone. All three of us can skate and put a lot of back pressure on the opponent. It limits the time they spend in our zone. Closing quickly means we aren’t spending time in our own zone and getting gassed. There are a few things we can clean up, but I think we are heading in the right direction.

Domi on singing happy birthday to Tyler Bertuzzi on Instagram over the weekend:

Bert and I are so close now. It is one of those things where he hates attention. I just wanted to spotlight him a little bit there. He had such a big day. It was his birthday.

Most guys didn’t know it was his birthday until closer to the game because he is not that guy. He doesn’t want that kind of attention, which I respect so much. He is super low-key — just a normal, humble dude.

Singing happy birthday on the tarmac on the way to the plane was something where he was in it and he couldn’t shy away from the camera. We had some fun with it.

Auston Matthews on former teammate Alex Kerfoot:

He is a great, great guy. He was a very popular guy on our team since he got traded. We all love him a lot. It sucks to see guys go, but it is part of the game. He is a great person and someone we all look forward to chatting with after the game.

He has been playing really well for them. We are all very happy for him. It’ll be fun to go against him.

He can play anywhere in the lineup. Such a smart player. He has speed. You can put him in any situation you need him to play in.

The great thing about him is that he was very open to doing that. There was never a bad day for him whether it was on the fourth line, the first line, or somewhere in between. It didn’t really matter to him. He was always going to give his best effort and do what he could to help the team win.

Sheldon Keefe on keeping Morgan Rielly-TJ Brodie together during Timothy Liljegren’s absence:

You talk through all of the different options that we have. We have six lefties again tonight. We are in a jam right now with Liljegren being out and we can put Timmins in that category as a right shot. Having righties lets things fall into place.

When you have the lefties, it jams things up. You look at Brodie’s situation. To me, he played better on the left side of late, but we are in a jam right now. We talked through all of the different options. When you are in a jam like this, you have to fall on what has worked for you over time.

[Rielly-Brodie] is not going the best right now, but it has worked well for us. Benoit-McCabe has worked really well for us. Splitting that up, I don’t know if it really helps our cause. Brodie has been better on the left, but he has played more on the right than anybody on our team. When we have no righties in a jam like this, we have to trust and give these guys a chance to go out and play.

That is really it. We will monitor it as we go. To help ourselves through this, the guys have to clear their heads, go out, play, and trust themselves. Lagesson has done a good job on the right side for us. McCabe has done a good job on the right side for us. Brodie has done a better job on his offside than anybody in the entire league over the course of his career.

At a time when we are in a jam, I think it is important that we trust the guys to go out and get us through this. At the same time, as always, when we have players out of our lineup, the forwards have to really help. We just have to get connected.

We have done a good job of it. We have had two pairs of all lefties for quite some time now. We managed it just fine. Let’s not make it a bigger deal than we need to.

Keefe on the excitement about Joseph Woll’s return to the crease:

It feels great. There is how he played (before the injury), and you also saw how hard he worked to get himself ready, especially in the last three weeks or so. He has been right there, and there is just one last little hurdle for him to get over.

You want to get him back in the net. He is an important guy for our team.

Head-to-Head Stats: Maple Leafs vs. Coyotes

In the season-to-date statistics, the Leafs hold the advantage over the Coyotes in five out of five offensive categories and four out of five defensive categories.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines

#23 Matthew Knies – #34 Auston Matthews – #16 Mitch Marner
#59 Tyler Bertuzzi  – #11 Max Domi – #88 William Nylander
#74 Bobby McMann – #91 John Tavares – #89 Nick Robertson
#29 Pontus Holmberg – #64 David Kampf – #75 Ryan Reaves

#44 Morgan Rielly – #78 TJ Brodie
#2 Simon Benoit – #22 Jake McCabe
#55 Mark Giordano – #85 William Lagesson

Starter: #60 Joseph Woll
#35 Ilya Samsonov

Extras: Noah Gregor, Martin Jones
Injured/Out: Calle Jarnkrok, Conor Timmins, Timothy Liljegren 

Arizona Coyotes Projected Lines

#15 Alex Kerfoot – #29 Barrett Hayton – #8 Nick Schmaltz
#63 Mattias Maccelli – #17 Nick Bjugstad – #67 Lawson Crouse
#16 Jason Zucker –  #92 Logan Cooley – #11 Dylan Guenther
#53 Michael Carcone – #22 Jack McBain – #38 Liam O’Brien

#90 JJ Moser – #24 Mathew Dumba
#50 Sean Durzi – #5 Michael Kesselring
#4 Juuso Valimaki – #51 Troy Stetcher

Starter: #39 Connor Ingram
#70 Karel Vejmelka

Injured/Out: Clayton Keller, Travis Boyd