How does Drake have an effect on the Maple Leafs?
That’s the query we’re all asking after he doubtlessly cursed Toronto with a presumptive instagram story forward of the Maple Leafs truly eliminating their opponent. Whereas they’d an opportunity to shut out the sequence in six, the reigning Stanley Cup champions pressured a decisive Recreation 7.
So what are the keys to every facet shifting on to the subsequent spherical?
Spherical 1. Recreation 7.
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#⃣ #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/lgMRmezXRb
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) Could 14, 2022
Toronto: Controlling the matchups with Auston Matthews
The Maple Leafs have dwelling ice for Recreation 7, and that’s one thing the coaches have to make use of to their benefit. At 5-on-5 on this sequence, Toronto’s nonetheless producing one of many highest charges of shot makes an attempt with Matthews on the ice and passes to the slot due to each the centre’s completions and the puck shifting efforts of his proper winger, Mitch Marner. And Matthews nonetheless unsurprisingly leads the staff in shot makes an attempt, together with from the slot.
However the Lightning are doing their finest to restrict that, particularly by getting in the best way of his makes an attempt. So, with final change, there’s possible going to be a concerted effort to maintain Matthews away from the likes of Anthony Cirelli (who leads in blocked pictures for Tampa Bay) and Victor Hedman (who leads in blocked passes) since they’ve finished their finest to gradual one of many largest offensive threats on this sequence.
If the second line with John Tavares and William Nylander can sustain the strain they generated in Recreation 6, and the highest line is clicking, Tampa Bay could also be in bother.
RELATED: Lightning pressure Recreation 7 with 4-3 OT win in opposition to Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay: Sustaining a lead
The Lightning blew a 2-0 lead in Recreation 6, which might have ended their season. Fortunately, they managed to knot the sport as soon as extra to pressure time beyond regulation. However this might change into an issue in the event that they don’t deal with Toronto’s efforts to drag forward higher.
At 5-on-5, the Lightning are advantageous from an offensive era standpoint whereas enjoying with a lead — however they aren’t ending as lots of their possibilities to construct on it. The issue is that they’re permitting quantity of high quality possibilities again, and extra of these are ending up at the back of the online than anticipated. Within the common season, Toronto was one of many higher groups at enjoying from behind; they’re nonetheless on the upper finish relative to different groups within the playoffs. To date, by means of six video games, Tampa Bay typically hasn’t been all that inspiring whereas behind in video games, so if that holds up on this decider, they’re going to wish to construct a lead and discover a approach to restrict Toronto from mounting a comeback.
Placing all of it on the road pic.twitter.com/zX8sZOdz4B
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) Could 14, 2022
Toronto: Staying disciplined, or energy killing constantly
In Recreation 1, the Maple Leafs’ short-handed efforts helped them open the sequence with a win. This wasn’t one thing new; somewhat, it was an extension of their common season play with aggressive two-way play whereas on the penalty kill.
However now by means of six video games, Tampa Bay has seven energy play objectives. Proper or mistaken on the calls which are and aren’t being made, Toronto has to work on sustaining their self-discipline, or discover a approach to get again to their energy killing methods extra constantly on this matchup by disrupting their opponent in formation with their sticks, forcing the puck out of the zone (ideally with possession like within the common season), and discovering methods to check Andrei Vasilevskiy off the push.
In all conditions, the Leafs have taken 35 penalties whereas solely drawing 30. Whereas the Lightning lead in offensive zone penalties (eight), Toronto’s on the prime with 20 within the defensive finish. In Thursday evening’s recreation, the away staff took two third interval penalties back-to-back, and the tying objective ended up at the back of the online on that 5-on-3 benefit for Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay: Defending Andrei Vasilevskiy
Going into this sequence, Tampa Bay had the bonafide edge in web. Jack Campbell began the season sturdy, and noticed his play decline because it went on. Vasilevskiy nonetheless completed in direction of the highest of the league in objectives saved above anticipated, even when he wasn’t at his normal degree. However his presence outright gave the Lightning the benefit in objective.
Whereas Toronto’s goalie is the one one to have gotten the hook at one level on this sequence, their performances haven’t been all too completely different, in any case. Campbell’s allowed 2.66 objectives above anticipated in all conditions, whereas Vasilevskiy (in a bit extra ice time) is at 2.72. There’s a distinct expectation between these two goaltenders, and possibly the Lightning aren’t accustomed to going into the post-season with out having his Conn Smythe-calibre play. However proper now that isn’t what they’re getting. So what can the staff do to assist him get there?
Particular groups apart, there’s some work to be finished at 5-on-5. There, Toronto’s created 95 slot makes an attempt, 56 of which have related on web, and eight of which have ended up at the back of it. Each groups have generated loads off the push, however the Maple Leafs have the sting there and have created fairly just a few scoring possibilities off the cycle in contrast to their opponent. Contributing to these high quality possibilities is the Maple Leafs’ means to maneuver the puck to the slot, in order that’s one other space the Lightning might work to scrub up.
Looking forward to Recreation 7
As broad open as the start of this sequence was, the previous few video games have been loads nearer. And Recreation 7 possible received’t be any completely different. That’s why each high quality probability or each mistake issues that rather more.
The stakes are as excessive as ever, with the Maple Leafs going through elimination for the primary time on this sequence in opposition to a staff that is aware of learn how to elevate its recreation when it issues essentially the most. On the opposite facet, there’s Toronto who has to recover from this hurdle in opposition to a staff which may be low on fuel after two prolonged runs.
So will or not it’s Goodnight Tampa on Saturday evening? Or will it as soon as once more be Goodnight Toronto?
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