5 Thoughts from the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 Loss to Lightning

May 2, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Referee Dan O'Rourke (9) tries to separate players from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay LIghtning as they engage in a brawl in the third period of game one of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Referee Dan O'Rourke (9) tries to separate players from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay LIghtning as they engage in a brawl in the third period of game one of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 2, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe  Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe  Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Conclusion

The Toronto Maple Leafs have proved that they can play with the Lightning, meaning they can play against and with any team in the stacked Eastern Conference.  They shot themselves in the foot too many times, and this has to change before game 3. The Maple Leafs also have to make the decision to either work hard on their PK or take a step back from the physicality.

I felt bad for Jack Campbell this game due to his multiple key saves, only for his team to make a dumb, lazy mistake. The Leafs left him out to dry two times on bad line changes and messed up defensive coverage. The little mistakes are the story of this game, and such “small” mistakes led to the Leafs losing a game they could have won.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have to either practice, or watch film over to see what they can do differently. There were way too many mistakes for Keefe to ignore, and I hope he will be looking over tape on the flight to Tampa Bay. These two teams ARE evenly matched, with the  Leafs having the edge in even strength play. However, the special teams were horrible with two of the three goals coming from mistakes.

dark. Next. NHL Opening Round Predictions

How the Toronto Maple Leafs will respond will be key, and adjustments have to be made in order to win in Tampa. Home ice advantage is now in the Lightning’s favor, so a single win in Tampa is a must. All eyes will be on their response, and John Tavares has to do more as the captain to prepare his team.