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*** 2021-22 Playoffs Opening Round: Tampa Bay Lightning (A3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (A2) - (TBL WIN 4-3) ***


TBL vs TOR  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. Whose History Gets Enhanced This Series?

    • 1- Lightning win in 4 proving once again, Leaves® in the NHL always fall in Spring
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    • 2- Lightning in 5... Toronto shows a bit of game, but still, not anywhere near enough to get by the defending champs
    • 3- Lightning in 6. Leafs play tough, play hard, but the cool n calm Bolts show them how it's done anyways.
    • 4- Lightning in 7. Epic series filled with tough play, fancy goals, stellar goaltending....but sees Toronto fall just short.
    • 5- Leafs in 4. New Toronto, old Tampa Bay. Leafs on a mission!
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    • 6- Leafs in 5. Bolts can't quite come up with the right formula this time, and Toronto looks damned good putting away the defending champs.
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    • 7- Leafs in 6. Great series that sees the Maple Leafs seemingly always a step ahead of the Lightning
    • 8- Leafs in 7. Toronto caps a great series doing something no one has been able to do in a long time: Close out Vasilevskiy and his crew. Leafs nation is ecstatic at home!
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1276509502_TBLvsTORbackboard.thumb.jpg.84808a72dd74674c47f858ce4d20c5eb.jpg

 

Season Series:
Defending Champion Lightning took it 2-1-1

Bolts looking to add to NHL history in a positive way by seeking their 3rd straight Championship, while adding NEGATIVELY to the Leafs' 18 yr drought of either missing the playoffs or not being able to get out of the 1st round.
TB is quite diminished as compared to their last two consecutive Cup teams, though still boast some of the league's best players and some players who are simply playoff performers.

Toronto, obviously, is looking to change their fortunes...and what better way to make a statement than against the current Champions?
The Leafs are as dangerous as ever on offense and they even brought to the table a tougher brand of defense and a layer of 'grind' to them not really seen in a long, long time from them.

Will Jack Campbell be able to match Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes?
Also, special teams may play a big role as both teams have the potential to severely punish the other for taking penalties.

Bolts, Leafs, all series talk goes right here!
 

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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Nobody cares, but I'm going to type it anyway. I wasn't supposed to see this game, and I'm kind of disappointed I had to watch the 5th straight year of ultimate game futility from this club.    Today, was our firstborn's birthday. He's older but still a child, mentally speaking(autism). His birthday is a big deal to him even at an age where he shouldn't be quite so interested in it anymore. So, my wife and other kids decided there would be no hockey for me on his birthday. We spent the

Putting aside all the sports trash talk nonsense for a bit, a genuine Happy Birthday to your child. Doggie incident aside for the family of course. From one parent of an autistic child to another. We truly understand being accepting and our child's, and yours, different outlook on life.

The Leaf fans, have become Kampftorably Numb.

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Goalies: :lightning:

Defense: :lightning:

Offense: :lightning:

Special teams (PP/PK): :mapleleafs:

Coaching: :lightning:

Mental: :lightning:

Experience: :lightning:

Robustness: :mapleleafs:

Depth: :lightning:

 

Tampa in 6.

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Leafs Leave in 7. The Lightning can match them in firepower, and have the experience and physicality when they need it. I still feel like the Leafs can be pushed around in playoff time. Also, the Bolts also have Vas who will steal a game somewhere in this series.

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For all the fun I like to make at Toronto's expense, even I have to admit, they really DO look like a different sort of team this year.
Oh sure, they still have their explosive offense led by Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander, etc.... but, at least to me, it seems they have a better idea of what they want to do on defense....or more specifically, how to keep teams from simply waltzing into their zone and getting good clean looks at their goalie.

This makes them very dangerous and the only things left for them to answer is:
--- Is their goaltending, with Jack Campbell, enough? (Personally, I always liked Anderson as their backstop)
--- Can the young stars on the team fully wrap their heads around the fact they simply aren't gonna see the same time and space in the playoffs as they do in the regular season?

If either of those questions comes up "negative", we could be seeing another one n done by those boys.

Bolts are certainly not the same dominant team they've been the last two seasons. They've lost good players, have had to work new ones in, while developing championship caliber chemistry on both the forward lines and defensive units.
I believe they've now done that, as evidenced by their strong finish to the regular season, but, same as Toronto, will young players like Hagel and Foote fully realize how much more of dogfight these playoffs will be?

Foote should have an idea, though he still wasn't a regular player in the last two Cups, but for Hagel, this could be all new.
Fortunately, the Bolts simply have more playoff and Cup experienced guys than the Leafs do, thus I think they will have the edge there.

As a Bolts fan, I can't quite come to discounting the two time champions just yet...even though I acknowledge the Leafs are much improved and look more dangerous than ever.
Because, despite that, the Lightning STILL have Vasilevskiy, STILL have Hedman, STILL have McDonagh as the foundation of their defense, and STILL have the likes of Point, Stamkos, Kucherov, and Mr. Post Season himself, Alex Killorn, to lead the charge on offense.

What TB is attempting to do is in rare air territory (win three Cups in a row), and I'd like to think Toronto gives them a run, maybe some games could go either way, but the Lightning's quest doesn't end in the first round.
Bolts in 6.....with Vasilevskiy shutting out the Leafs in that Game 6 at Amalie Arena. ;)

Yea, yea, I know....sound the Homer Alert Siren!

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Toronto up in the third looking as if the first round curse about to end. Campbell let's in a softie followed by Reilly accidently tipping the winning goal for Tampa into his own net moments later. 

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2 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

Toronto up in the third looking as if the first round curse about to end. Campbell let's in a softie followed by Reilly accidently tipping the winning goal for Tampa into his own net moments later. 

 

You sound like you've seen this movie before... :ph34r: 

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Posted (edited)

NHL.com's writers have this one 13-3 in favor of Tampa. 

 

Matthews has been a dominant goal-scorer earlier in his playoff career with 4-in-6 games vs. Wash and 5-in-7 games vs. Boston.  Sadly, Marner had his biggest year sandwiched in between those series with 9 points vs. Boston. 

 

Campbell is a mystery and on the edge of a nervous breakdown (kinda like us Leafs fans) so who knows what you get from him?

 

Stamkos and Kucherov are HOT. Matthews was injured toward the end and had his longest goalless drought at 5 games before potting 2 vs. the hapless Wings. Those arrows are going the wrong direction for the Leafs. 

 

As a Leafs fan, outside of randomness, I'm not sure what you pin your hopes on? This team has lost 5 series in a row and this looks to be the toughest test of them all. Pressure is not something the Leafs have handled well and now you're expecting them to handle it vs. Tampa? 

 

For me, if the Leafs can get off to a great start, I think they have a chance. Should they lose Game 1, I expect Tampa in 5...maybe, 6. 

 

 

Edited by 3 Palmateers
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Posted (edited)

Always interesting to watch how a team's coach and players react, in front of the media, right before the playoffs start. 

 

Just watched Keefe and Marner. Trying to read them it seems to me that Keefe is horribly uncomfortable and not confident in about what's going to happen tonight, or in this series. 

 

Marner is tougher to read. He looks like someone who is either upset about being questioned regarding the playoffs, or is extremely tight. Maybe, both?

 

I've watched every game this season and listened to the pressers after every game. Marner is usually a boring interview but he seems more boring than usual. Keefe is usually easy to read where his head's at.  

 

In watching the two, I don't have a great feeling about them performing well, tonight. Can't wait to see if my gut feeling about what I'm hearing from them proves true. You want to be wrong, but you feel what you feel. 

 

Disappointed Bunting has been ruled out for Game 1.  Happy Kase is back. He's a potential difference maker for the Leafs and plays hard like Bunting but doesn't have the nasty that Bunting brings. 

 

Last time they played, no Matthews and no Point, and it ended 8-1. Game before that, Matthews posts a hatty and Leafs win 6-2 in there building.  He's been dominant vs. Tampa in his NHL career. Hoping he's in the right frame of mind and is healthy because he's gotta score or this series will be over a lot sooner than many people think. 

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Dave McCarthy, who is the Leafs correspondent for the NHL, spent some time talking with the Bolts players before their series and he said while speaking to guys like Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, the Bolts players know it's "go time", that regular season stats and standings are nice, but they've learned it's all about how you perform at this time of year.

Stamkos, apparently, also added, "Hoisting the Cup is addictive. I've done it twice. I want to do it again"

I must say, I like the sound of that from my hometown Lightning. They certainly don't sound like a bunch of 'fat cats' who aren't as hungry..... more like Cup junkies who want their next fix! :) 

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42 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Dave McCarthy, who is the Leafs correspondent for the NHL, spent some time talking with the Bolts players before their series and he said while speaking to guys like Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, the Bolts players know it's "go time", that regular season stats and standings are nice, but they've learned it's all about how you perform at this time of year.

Stamkos, apparently, also added, "Hoisting the Cup is addictive. I've done it twice. I want to do it again"

I must say, I like the sound of that from my hometown Lightning. They certainly don't sound like a bunch of 'fat cats' who aren't as hungry..... more like Cup junkies who want their next fix! :) 

Yup. 

 

And... Yup:

 

 

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Early PP for the Lightning, so far, Toronto is handling things short handed.

Still sort of a "feel out" process going on between these two clubs, but only 4 minutes in to this point.

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2 hours ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Hoisting the Cup is addictive

 

Same for me, except that my cup is made of glass, is a bit smaller and is filled with wine.

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Gotta hand it to Auston Matthews...whenever he and Stamkos get matched up on the ice together, and are assigned to each other, Matthews has had the positional and physical edge to this point.

Stamkos has become a good all around player, with and without the puck, and has come a long way from his days as just a pure goal scorer, but in the early going, he is finding Matthews to be a handful!

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Wow..... Toronto initiating the rough stuff.
Careful, Leaves®.... last few teams that overdid that "woke up" the Champs and paid!

Bolts to the PP once again.

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No score as the first winds down, but Toronto is now on the PP once again, and it's been all Leafs so far.
They simply look like the better team in the early going.

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What a 1st for the Leafs. I can't believe this and it's never happened, but I had tears in my eyes during that major penalty kill. Just dominant PKing. Leafs had the better of it.

 

Seen this movie many times before. Game is 60, not 20. 

 

We'll see if they can keep this up, but what an encouraging start. A  goal from Jake Muzzin? Not even sure that guy was going to be able to play. 

 

GLG! 

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1 minute ago, 3 Palmateers said:

What a 1st for the Leafs. I can't believe this and it's never happened, but I had tears in my eyes during that major penalty kill. Just dominant PKing. Leafs had the better of it.

 

Seen this movie many times before. Game is 60, not 20. 

 

We'll see if they can keep this up, but what an encouraging start. A  goal from Jake Muzzin? Not even sure that guy was going to be able to play. 

 

GLG! 

 

Highly aggressive and impressive PK by the Leafs.

They even got under the skin of Nikita Kucherov who took a stupid penalty in front of the ref.

Bolts need to gather themselves. They know they've been there before.
Would help TB's cause if they matched the Leafs physically...they ARE capable of that.

Right now, seems its all Leafs in every facet of the game.

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If Tampa isn't willing to outshoot Toronto and send everything to the net to test Campbell, they could find themselves golfing very quickly.  They can't sit and rely on their past success, and expect that to get them through an NHL playoff series.  They look like a team so far that didn't know when this game was supposed to start tonight.  Campbell is the how Toronto can be beaten.  If he's not tested, their opponents don't have a shot.

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13 minutes ago, 3 Palmateers said:

What a 1st for the Leafs. I can't believe this and it's never happened, but I had tears in my eyes during that major penalty kill. Just dominant PKing. Leafs had the better of it.

 

Seen this movie many times before. Game is 60, not 20. 

 

We'll see if they can keep this up, but what an encouraging start. A  goal from Jake Muzzin? Not even sure that guy was going to be able to play. 

 

GLG! 

I've gotta admit. I'm impressed, not with their skill level. I KNOW they have that. Their physical tenacity, aggressiveness and "hitting" game has been very impressive thus far. 

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Posted (edited)

You awake yet, TB?
Toronto is owning this game.....wake the hell UP!

Start hitting people, get nasty in corners, storm the net.
Bolts are taking penalties anyways, may as well be of the aggressive kind instead of the weak, passive kind.

2-0 Toronto.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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Bolts get a call their way...by....driving towards the net!  Imagine that!
Now, can they convert?


Toronto has looked damned good on the PK to this point...can the Lightning break that confidence of theirs?
A PP goal should loosen them up a bit...

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Cobra has to tie his hand behind his back like a speed skater. Unbelievable, he's gotten the box, twice, for that same move. 

 

Tampa going to cash one of these and the momentum will change. 

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  • TropicalFruitGirl26 changed the title to *** 2021-22 Playoffs Opening Round: Tampa Bay Lightning (A3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (A2) - (TBL WIN 4-3) ***
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