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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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59 minutes ago, Toronto Jules said:

@3 Palmateers I am so sorry. #1 the safety for your daughter comes first and taking care of her and your family is your first priority. I don't have any children yet, but I know when I do they will always come first in my life.

 

I also don't have any pets as much as I think they are great, but I am allergic to them. I do know that an owner of a pet can quickly grow attached which it seems you and family has done with this husky. However, it seems like this dog has some sort of issues and the safety of your family has to come first.

 

As for the Leafs losing that doesn't even rank in the same category as what your family went through. Sure it is a team and a game you love to follow, but in the end it is a game and you just move on from it. I am also disappointed they lost once again, but honestly Game 7 they were not outplayed. The Leafs defense showed up as did Jack Campbell. The Leafs offense and their top players however did not. The Leafs were primarily beaten by two players on the Tampa Bay Lightning who had superior games. They were Nick Paul and Andrei Vasileveskiy. The rest of their team was no better then the Leafs team. 

I hope it was communicated clearly that the Leafs losing was part of a bad night but nowhere in the realm of the same thing as what happened with our beloved rescue husky and my daughter. That was terrifying, but less so because I didn't personally witness it. The spokesman for the group has a tendency to overstate things, so there is some question to how bad it actually was, but there was some serious evidence on her neck that something not good happened up there, but no breakage of skin. 

 

Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and well-wishes. I've gotten myriad of opinions here and from family and friends. As of now, we have a gate up to prevent our husky from accessing the upstairs. He's very bummed, but my oldest's room is where he acts differently so we've cut him off from there. We will see how he interacts when he has no access to that room. Perhaps, he will not show any more aggression. If not, we may keep him and just keep him away from upstairs. Not sure if that's workable because he LOVES it up there and seems sad he can't go up there. As noted, this is a tough issue but your kids and their safety are far more weighted than love for a dog. For others, I understand that line is blurry but I've always seen great separation between pets and children. The kids don't see it that way. :) Dogs are family members and should be treated as such in their eyes, but they are children. 

 

Back to the game, Keefe stated in his presser that the first goal proved to be very important. We all knew how big that would be. Again, Toronto could not get it. It always comes down to that ONE goal...that ONE play...and Toronto just can't ever make it even with a 60-goal scorer on their roster and one of the best set up men in NHL history. Something is missing. Way too many nice players who just can't be heroes. 

 

Now, you could apply that to Tampa. Where was Stamkos? Kucherov? Hedman? Etc. These guys didn't light the lamp either. Some deadline addition carried them to victory. Does this mean Kuch and Stamkos or someone like Perry ain't prime-timers? No. Those guys have proven themselves. No one on the Leafs has ever proven this. 

 

 

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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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@3 Palmateers Yes, I knew you put the Leafs game last where it should have been.

 

As for the Leafs game. The Lightning star players also did not show up other than Vasilevskiy. The Leafs were beaten by Nick Paul and Vasilevskiy. 

 

If they play like that without the stars showing up against the Panthers it is not going to be a good turnout for them at all. One the Panthers have some sort of magic in making comebacks  and they also have a very strong defense that can put a hold on the Lightning offense. I will be surprised if this series goes past 5 games. 

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Andrei Vasilevskiy's pattern of shutting out opponents in closeout games was broken, but more importantly for the Lightning, the pattern of alternating wins and losses (with Toronto leading) was ALSO broken...giving the Bolts the series win with two consecutive W's.

TB just knows what it needs to do to get the job done, and they don't care whether it's a 5-1 blowout of an opponent, or a 1-0, 2-1 affair like last night, in the end, as long as they are on the correct side of the handshake line, the mission was accomplished.

While true the Lightning stars didn't show up on the scoreboard, it was no small thing to have guys like Stamkos and Kucherov backcheck, do things away from the puck and be merely a THREAT to score, which took up Toronto resources on defense, which allows other players to step in and do what they need to do.

The TB defense was pretty stout too...not only last night, but in G6 as well where they clamped down when they needed to, took the body and wore down Toronto players with physical play....at the very least, put the idea into the brains of Leaves® players that they ARE going to get hit in corners and whenever they touched pucks.
Like a sparring match, those kinds of things, done through the course of a series, wears on an opponent near the end.
One Mr. William Nylander was particularly susceptible to that tactic as he can be CLEARLY seen giving up on puck pursuits if he thought a TB player was gonna rock him........pretty sure the TOR coaches saw that too, and can't be too happy with that part of his game. The unwillingness to get dirty or take a hit to make a play.

Vasilevskiy did NOT have his best series overall, but did come up with key saves when needed, especially when it mattered most...the last two games.
And yes, he did have some puck luck work for him as well.

Overall, the last two TB wins came about in such a way, where one could see the lessons, the hard, sometimes painful lessons, the team learned the last few seasons, paid off. 
IMO, lessons this Toronto core is still trying to figure out.

In baseball, football, basketball.... you always have "money" players.
Guys that aren't necessarily the absolute best (though some are) at their position, but guys that just come up large when the situations are large.
Andrei Vasilevskiy is one such player, while Nick Paul, very small sample size, showed a bit of that as well.

I will give full marks to Toronto....their players were dangerous, were good all series, and they played an overall good brand of tough, defensive hockey not really seen in recent years, and that attitude will serve them well moving forward.
But they were up against a team that's seen all of that before, has done all of that already, and were ready and willing to do it again.

In the end, the better team in the series moved on and I was fully prepared to say the same even if it were the other way around and it was TB going home because it means Toronto would have beaten the best the league had the last two seasons.

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The one thing I give credit to the Lightning defense that the Leafs defense seemed to be unable to do effectively was clear people out in front of the the net leaving their goalie free to see incoming pucks. The Lightning always seemed to have at least two if not more players in front of the net clogging up space making it really difficult for Campbell to see the incoming puck. That is the job of the defense to clear them out of there. The Lightning D did that and the Leafs did not. 

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Posted (edited)

I don't believe that the team that wins a series is always the better team. 

 

The Leafs should've won Game 6. We'll never know what happens if the 5-on-3 that shouldn't have been doesn't happen but that's a game the Leafs led until that ridiculous officiating changed. 

 

Arguing that Toronto was the better team is impossible given the context of the last 3 years, but, if you take that away, as it is all that should matter, Toronto was the better team THIS YEAR, and in THIS SERIES. There is a reason Toronto finished ahead of Tampa in the standings. Losing a 7-game series due to a 1-goal loss at home after losing in OT in a game that should've been yours doesn't scream Tampa was the better team to me. 

 

What I do agree is Tampa is the team that knows how to win. Toronto doesn't. It couldn't because it hasn't. Hockey can be very random. Toronto dominated OT vs. the Lightning after it shouldn't even have had to be in it, and lost when Tampa got one single opportunity and cashed it. I'm a big process over results guy, but results are all that ultimately matters. In process, I sincerely believe Toronto was the better team this season, but the results say Tampa was and everyone has to accept that regardless of bias. 

 

Tampa/Florida should be a fantastic series. I love Cooper and Cirelli but am sick of seeing Tampa win. I hope Florida unseats the champs but I don't think they will. 

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Most definitely better teams have lost in the series and it has happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning when they lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets. In that same year the Calgary Flames lost to the Colorado Avalanche as well. Washington and Nashville also lost that year in the first round. 

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@3 Palmateers

 

The "better" teams have, indeed, lost series before, but, in this particular case, I believe the better team DID move on.
Obviously, we will have to agree to disagree on that point, and that is fine.

It wasn't like TB was some one-off team or some team that just happened to make it into the playoffs to upset Toronto.
They are the two time champions...and two time champions, FOR A REASON! :) 
And I really don't think you will find very many people, barring some Toronto fans, who would call the Bolts winning this series "an upset".

Process?

Yep. Tampa Bay had and continues to have their process.
They've lost lots of good players over the course of the last two seasons, entering this season they were hit hardest, all due to the cap.
So their "process" was working new guys in to replace tried and true performers.
That leads to games they will lose during the regular season as they work on that process.
Then, the Lightning get the RESULTS of that process in the playoffs.

So, not to take away anything from Toronto's standing during the regular season, but one could argue had TB not had to work new guys in (Katchouk, Raddysh....then Paul and Hagel once those guys were traded, for instance), maybe THEY win more games during the season, and THEY finish ahead of Toronto.

But, even that is neither here nor there because everybody understands the regular season and playoffs are two different things.
Regular season wins can also be built off the backs of lower level teams like the Coyotes, Canadiens, Sabres, Jets, Flyers, Devils, etc....and then you have travel and weariness that impacts how a team performs on a given night, and maybe a team doesn't go 100% against a team they perhaps are looking past (say, the Red Wings) because they are looking ahead to a team they KNOW they have to be ready against (say, the Avalanche). 

Whereas in the playoffs the focus, game planning, and matching are solely on that one opponent you draw for that round.
Yea...different beast indeed. And at the end of the day, THAT is where champions are developed and forged.
And that is where SC Champions earn their status as 'knowing how to win'.

As for the officiating, one could argue all day long, all night long, and all off season long about how TB should not have gotten this or that, but the officiating was terrible throughout the series.
There were more than a few times where Toronto players could have been called on things that should have resulted in TB PP's and weren't....and there were times when Bolts players were called on VERY borderline things that gave the Leaves® a PP they probably shouldn't have.

It's frustrating, and NO ONE is more frustrated about those things than the players on both sides on the ice. Fan frustration has NOTHING on the players' angst.
But the BETTER teams adapt, take advantage, cash in...whatever you want to call it....and when the time comes for it, take what was given them.
Bolts did, Leaves® didn't.

And if TOR lost G6 on what is perceived as an unfair way, well, then they needed to execute, perform, and put away all doubts in G7, because that is what "better" teams do. 
Especially when you are facing down a two time champion, and not merely some upstart team that played you tough.

Again, Toronto didn't do that, and that is why we have the result we did.

Things will only get more difficult for the Champions (they already did by drawing Florida next!), and they definitely will need to clean up some areas they were sloppy in against Toronto, because the Panthers are indeed a more complete team right now, and, more importantly, have been building up through their own process, including a hard loss to these same Lightning, in last year's playoffs.
And Florida most definitely will cash in on areas where perhaps Toronto didn't.

So the Cats will be ready, are certainly better than they were last year, and the Lightning are going to have to up their games even further if they want to continue defending their Cups, because these Panthers, while still sporting some areas that can be exploited as well (Washington provided some insight to that), are the real deal and I could easily see them as the team that possibly unseats the Bolts and then goes on a run that sees them at Lord Stanley's castle door!

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I have to respectably disagree with you. I believe the team with the better goalie and the team that jumped on the opportunities given to them won this series. 

 

I certainly do not believe the Lightning have any better offense than the Leafs or really a Defense either(The Lightning D might be slightly better), but it came down to a few opportunities and the Lightning made the best of them and the Leafs did not. 

 

I honestly think both teams other than the goalies were pretty equal. 

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51 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

@3 Palmateers

 

The "better" teams have, indeed, lost series before, but, in this particular case, I believe the better team DID move on.
Obviously, we will have to agree to disagree on that point, and that is fine.

It wasn't like TB was some one-off team or some team that just happened to make it into the playoffs to upset Toronto.
They are the two time champions...and two time champions, FOR A REASON! :) 
And I really don't think you will find very many people, barring some Toronto fans, who would call the Bolts winning this series "an upset".

Process?

Yep. Tampa Bay had and continues to have their process.
They've lost lots of good players over the course of the last two seasons, entering this season they were hit hardest, all due to the cap.
So their "process" was working new guys in to replace tried and true performers.
That leads to games they will lose during the regular season as they work on that process.
Then, the Lightning get the RESULTS of that process in the playoffs.

So, not to take away anything from Toronto's standing during the regular season, but one could argue had TB not had to work new guys in (Katchouk, Raddysh....then Paul and Hagel once those guys were traded, for instance), maybe THEY win more games during the season, and THEY finish ahead of Toronto.

But, even that is neither here nor there because everybody understands the regular season and playoffs are two different things.
Regular season wins can also be built off the backs of lower level teams like the Coyotes, Canadiens, Sabres, Jets, Flyers, Devils, etc....and then you have travel and weariness that impacts how a team performs on a given night, and maybe a team doesn't go 100% against a team they perhaps are looking past (say, the Red Wings) because they are looking ahead to a team they KNOW they have to be ready against (say, the Avalanche). 

Whereas in the playoffs the focus, game planning, and matching are solely on that one opponent you draw for that round.
Yea...different beast indeed. And at the end of the day, THAT is where champions are developed and forged.
And that is where SC Champions earn their status as 'knowing how to win'.

As for the officiating, one could argue all day long, all night long, and all off season long about how TB should not have gotten this or that, but the officiating was terrible throughout the series.
There were more than a few times where Toronto players could have been called on things that should have resulted in TB PP's and weren't....and there were times when Bolts players were called on VERY borderline things that gave the Leaves® a PP they probably shouldn't have.

It's frustrating, and NO ONE is more frustrated about those things than the players on both sides on the ice. Fan frustration has NOTHING on the players' angst.
But the BETTER teams adapt, take advantage, cash in...whatever you want to call it....and when the time comes for it, take what was given them.
Bolts did, Leaves® didn't.

And if TOR lost G6 on what is perceived as an unfair way, well, then they needed to execute, perform, and put away all doubts in G7, because that is what "better" teams do. 
Especially when you are facing down a two time champion, and not merely some upstart team that played you tough.

Again, Toronto didn't do that, and that is why we have the result we did.

Things will only get more difficult for the Champions (they already did by drawing Florida next!), and they definitely will need to clean up some areas they were sloppy in against Toronto, because the Panthers are indeed a more complete team right now, and, more importantly, have been building up through their own process, including a hard loss to these same Lightning, in last year's playoffs.
And Florida most definitely will cash in on areas where perhaps Toronto didn't.

So the Cats will be ready, are certainly better than they were last year, and the Lightning are going to have to up their games even further if they want to continue defending their Cups, because these Panthers, while still sporting some areas that can be exploited as well (Washington provided some insight to that), are the real deal and I could easily see them as the team that possibly unseats the Bolts and then goes on a run that sees them at Lord Stanley's castle door!

The bolded portion is important here and the surrounding portion. What Tampa did last year or previous years is not germane to being the better team this year. It is about this year, not the past. There is no Yanni Gourde, Goodrow, Coleman. This team is different. It is not as good as the teams of the past, and I don't believe this Tampa team is better than Toronto, hence, them finishing behind them in the standings, and needing a gifted 5-on-3 to keep this series alive past 6 games. I don't think any of these points are disputable. 

 

I get that a Tampa fan would see Tampa as a better team based on the past, but this is this year. Again, there is a reason Tampa had to play Game 7 in Toronto and that was not because they were the better team. I do agree that Tampa was the likely winner of this series due to the Leafs past failures. If the Leafs were a team with a modicum of playoff success, the majority would've been on the Leafs to win this one. Tampa was not a good team for much of the end of the season until the very end where they got hot for a few games. 

 

That is the issue, though. Regular season and playoffs are not the same. No question Leafs were a better team in the regular season sense...just not a team with any playoff identity short of being losers. Very hard to flip that around. Tampa's past aided their present where Toronto's past was a detriment equating to a narrow playoff loss, that, again, is very questionable due to what happened in period 3 of Game 6. I do wonder what a Lightning fan would say had the exact scenario played out against them in Game 6, and they ended up losing the series? 

 

My opinions, your opinions, anyone's opinions are irrelevant. Tampa is onto Round 2. That is what matters. Should be a fun series with the in-state divsional rival. 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, 3 Palmateers said:

The bolded portion is important here and the surrounding portion. What Tampa did last year or previous years is not germane to being the better team this year. It is about this year, not the past. There is no Yanni Gourde, Goodrow, Coleman. This team is different. It is not as good as the teams of the past, and I don't believe this Tampa team is better than Toronto, hence, them finishing behind them in the standings, and needing a gifted 5-on-3 to keep this series alive past 6 games. I don't think any of these points are disputable. 

 

I get that a Tampa fan would see Tampa as a better team based on the past, but this is this year. Again, there is a reason Tampa had to play Game 7 in Toronto and that was not because they were the better team. I do agree that Tampa was the likely winner of this series due to the Leafs past failures. If the Leafs were a team with a modicum of playoff success, the majority would've been on the Leafs to win this one. Tampa was not a good team for much of the end of the season until the very end where they got hot for a few games. 

 

That is the issue, though. Regular season and playoffs are not the same. No question Leafs were a better team in the regular season sense...just not a team with any playoff identity short of being losers. Very hard to flip that around. Tampa's past aided their present where Toronto's past was a detriment equating to a narrow playoff loss, that, again, is very questionable due to what happened in period 3 of Game 6. I do wonder what a Lightning fan would say had the exact scenario played out against them in Game 6, and they ended up losing the series? 

 

My opinions, your opinions, anyone's opinions are irrelevant. Tampa is onto Round 2. That is what matters. Should be a fun series with the in-state divsional rival. 

 

 


Yep.
Which is why I stated we will just have to agree to disagree on the point of who was better, because frankly, I also get why a Toronto fan would think THEIRS was the better team and be angry about G6, but perhaps, sidestepping any other 'gifts' that maybe were given them in earlier games in the series?

And the two points we CAN agree on is that one team has moved on and the other didn't, and our opinions won't affect that one iota.
But since this is a message board, and we are diehard fans, opining is what we do here!  ;)

The other point is, the in-state second round should be very fun!

And BTW, that thread is already up with poll, so feel free to discuss your takes on Lightning vs Panthers there. 

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3 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:


Yep.
Which is why I stated we will just have to agree to disagree on the point of who was better, because frankly, I also get why a Toronto fan would think THEIRS was the better team and be angry about G6, but perhaps, sidestepping any other 'gifts' that maybe were given them in earlier games in the series?

And the two points we CAN agree on is that one team has moved on and the other didn't, and our opinions won't affect that one iota.
But since this is a message board, and we are diehard fans, opining is what we do here!  ;)

The other point is, the in-state second round should be very fun!

And BTW, that thread is already up with poll, so feel free to discuss your takes on Lightning vs Panthers there. 

If you can give me one example of an equitable example of the 5-on-3 and costing an actual game, I'll agree with you on officiating. I don't think you can. No one can. Look at the 1st Nick Paul goal and tell me what you see. Leafs fans saw this... (BTW, I have no issue with the Holl penalty)

 

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Loyal supporters are always going to say their team is the better of the two teams. I bet there were some Columbus Blue Jackets faithful a few years back that even said they were better than Tampa Bay. They certainly were in that series, but overall I don't think so. Things just happen like that in any sport. That is why you play the games. 

 

Well all I know is my team is out for another season and I suppose I will hear endless talk about losing in the first round once again and griping from many fans how this team will never get it done and tear it apart and blah blah blah. 

 

The thing is next season will roll around and the Leafs once again will be contenders and going for the Cup again. 

 

Now I think I will just sit back and take in the rest of these games on my own and wait for the new Leafs seasons to come. See ya all next season. 

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