I am full Team ANARCHY in the NHL Playoffs. Almost every year, I am rooting for upsets, for craziness, and I am going to cheer for the Leafs harder than I ever have. If you’re new here, I don’t like the Tampa Bay Lightning, they are my arch-enemies in life. And now, they will be facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round One of the 2022 NHL Playoffs. That being said:
Toronto is one above the Lightning in the standings. They finished 2nd in the Atlantic with a 54-21-7, 115 points in the standings, 315 goals for, and just 253 goals against. Their top guys- Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander – have been incredible in the regular season. I’ve written multiple blogs about those guys crushing expectations throughout the regular season.
As for the Lightning, with a 6-4 win against the Islanders today, they’ve finished 3rd in the Atlantic with a record of 51-23-8, 110 points in the standings, 287 goals for, and 233 goals against. They’ve been doing good this season, they obviously (much to my dismay) have won the Cup the last two COVID seasons.
I am going to be cheering on the Leafs through every single game in the first round. Could you imagine if they end up beating the reigning Cup champs and making it to the second round for the first time in almost ten years? I will be on the moon!
Like I said, the Leafs’ stars have been poppin’ as of late but they were the same last season too. Last season, they had a 3-1 lead in the first round against Montreal before Montreal came back and knocked them out in seven games. The key to this series is Matthews, Marner, and all those young dudes keeping the same pace they had during the regular season. Last year, Matthews had 66 points (41G 25A) in 52 games in the regular season but then he had a goal and four assists through those seven games against Montreal. Marner had 67 points (20G 47A) in 55 regular-season games last season and then just four assists in the seven games against Montreal.
When they’re good, this team is good to go. Their goaltending is meh. Petr Mrazek and Erik Kallgren are fine backups, they both have a save percentage at .800 and a GAA over 3. Jack Campbell has been pretty reliable. He’s 31-9-6 on the season with a .914 save percentage and 2.64 GAA. They’re not as steady as they could be but I think they’ll be able to hold it down if the Leafs just keep things status quo. The Lightning and Leafs have played one another four times this season and they split the series with 2-2-0 finals. The Lightning got 16 goals against the Leafs while the Leafs scored 12 of their own.
I have no choice but to believe in the Leafs. I need them to win this series. I don’t care about the stats, the Cups – don’t give a shit. I need the Leafs to win so badly. It would be incredible for them to finally see some progress in the roster they’re building. I mean it’s been ten years since a second-round birth, that has gotta crack sometime. So, pals, repeat after me: LET’S GO LEAFS!
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Featured Image: Toronto Maple Leafs Twitter
(Will this end in misary? Maybe, most of my decisions do)