The Toronto Maple Leafs came in as the favorites to win the series against the Tampa Bay Lightning but were taken by surprise by the three-time finalists in the Lightning as Tampa won game one in the opening round of action.
This was quite a shock, believing that the Toronto Maple Leafs defense is quite the juggernaut and that the offense was incredibly potent on the forecheck and poised to battle the Tampa Bay Lightning effectively.
However, Tampa threw everything at their opponents, coming out with a 7-3 victory over the Leafs team that has raised question marks again about the Maple Leafs in general.
The impact of the Tampa Bay Lightning on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Tampa was firing on all cylinders from the start as they opened up the scoring at one minute and eighteen seconds into the game. The team’s forecheck was so poised it had given the Leafs a run for their money and managed to steal home-ice advantage in the series.
A large number of players on the Lightning had contributed to the production needed by the team to win the game, not to mention shutting down the offense of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
To be honest, the Lightning was all over the Leafs in a most fashionable manner to combat the Leafs’ gameplay in what was a lopsided event.
They held most of the core pointless and did not give them any chances in the offensive end, except for the goal by William Nylander.
The agitator, Corry Perry, made it difficult for most Leafs players to adapt and adjust their game in the contest to secure the victory. He scored three points in the game.
What were the mistakes the Toronto Maple Leafs made?
The turnovers in the game forced by the Lightning against the Maple Leafs were tough enough, but also the X-factor of the game was the careless penalties the Leafs players were taking. That cost them the game as Tampa scored four power play goals.
The Lightning’s speed and skating ability, along with good stick handling and tape-to-tape passing, stumped the Maple Leafs’ defense. Brayden Point had two goals and Nikita Kucherov had three points.
While the series is far from over, we have at least another three games to go, with potentially seven games in my opinion. I do believe the Maple Leafs will bounce back in game two of the series, which goes down on Thursday, April 20, 2023.