The Leafs just beat the wheels off the reigning Stanley Cup Champs and I couldn’t be more giddy about it. This game ended 5-0 in favor of the Leafs, let’s jump into how it went down:
The Maple Leafs started things off with a goal from Jake Muzzin 18:19 into the period. My lucky number is 8 so gotta love seeing Muzzin be the one to start things off.
The second period was incredible for the Leafs. By the time I tuned in, it was a 3-0 ball game. Auston Matthews grabbed the Leafs’ second goal of the game on the powerplay. That’s great for Matthews considering his past playoff struggles. To just ignore the pressure and keep doing his thing like in the regular season- it’s so important for him moving into the playoffs.
Then David Kampf had added one of his own when the Leafs were shorthanded:
That got this game 3-0 but the Leafs didn’t let the Lightning breathe for a second. They were buzzin’ around, blocking shots, making sure the Lightning’s most dangerous players were kept away from any scoring chance. It worked in their favor obviously. Mitch Marner broke his playoff goal drought with a beautiful goal to make this 4-0:
That’s Marner’s first playoff goal since 2019!! I’ve been harping on how important getting Matthews and Marner on the scoresheet will be for the Leafs’ success and this just proved it. They got both dudes scoring, they’re up 4-0 by the end of the middle frame and things are looking sunny.
In the third period, Matthews did it again 8:16 into the period. He had one goal in seven playoff games last year and now he’s got 2 in 3 periods of play.
Not too long after Matthew’s second goal, the bloodbath finally began. It was brewing through the first two periods but finally, some chirps between a few Lightning players and Wayne Simmonds exploded into an absolute slaughter-fest that ended with Morgan Reilly drawing blood:
The Leafs kept the pressure on and ended this game in a 5-0 shutout at home – their first home playoff win since 2002. It was an amazing performance by the Leafs from every angle. I’ve been harping on Matthews and Marner’s productivity and they showed up, doing what they do best. Jack Campbell, who has struggled this season, also collect a shutout in the series opener. He stopped all 23 shots he faced. Both with the performance by Campbell and the blocked shots from up and down the Leafs’ lineup, the Leafs looked like a real put-together team. They had each other’s backs and that is key to their confidence moving forward. Their next game is Wednesday night at home in Toronto once more. If they just keep things status quo and don’t get into their heads too much, I think they have another chance to grab a win.
(Also all of my sanity is riding on them winning this series so NBD.)
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Featured Image: Toronto Maple Leafs Twitter