Are Maple Leafs in Trouble or Not?


The Toronto Maple Leafs began off effectively in Game 5, scoring the opening objective simply 5:46 into the primary interval. Morgan Rielly received the objective, as soon as once more, assisted by Matthews Knies and John Tavares. Later in the sport, Auston Matthews scored a objective from Tavares and Mitch Marner.

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But by then, the Maple Leafs have been struggling to come back again and had already pulled their goalie for the additional attacker; between these two targets, there was 50 minutes and 40 seconds of nada. 

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As a end result, the Maple Leafs have been unable to finish their first-round collection in opposition to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 5 video games. They misplaced 4-2, and the collection now strikes to Florida for Game 6.

Item One: Morgan Rielly Scores Again

Rielly scored one other objective in opposition to Tampa Bay and received issues began for his group. However, the Lightning responded rapidly. 

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Rielly has been performing effectively in the playoffs. He now has eight factors (three targets and 5 assists) in 4 video games. He’s additionally on three-game objective scoring streak.

Item Two: Auston Matthews Keeps His Streak Alive

Matthews scored a late third-period objective. With his group pushing laborious with the additional attacker, he discovered a rebound in conjunction with the web and took benefit. Similar to Rielly, the goal extended his current goal-scoring streak (4 targets) to a few video games.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

This Matthews’ greatest postseason to this point. He has been producing persistently with factors (4 targets and 4 assists) in all 5 postseason video games.

Item Three: Ilya Samsonov Both Good & Bad, But Not Good Enough

The Lightning threw lots of rubber at Ilya Samsonov, who made 34 saves. That stated, he additionally, sadly, allowed three targets whereas his counterpart, Andrei Vasilevskiy, was sharp as a tack. 

Related: Toronto Maple Leafs’ Top-20 Goal Scorers All-Time

Samsonov had good moments and unhealthy in Game 5. He made some excellent saves, however he additionally allowed a few targets he want to have again. Mikey Eyssimont’s objective was a bad-angle shot that trickled by means of his five-hole. He was additionally out of place on Nick Paul’s third-period objective, which was the game-winner.

That stated, the loss shouldn’t be on Samsonov. His group didn’t generate sufficient offense. 

Item Four: John Tavares Registers Assists on Both Maple Leafs Goals

Tavares, who had been quiet, had some leap in Game 5. He recorded two assists in the loss. Although he had not collected any factors in the earlier two video games, he has six complete factors (three targets and three assists) in the playoffs.

John Tavares Toronto Maple Leafs Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning
John Tavares celebrates a objective as Andrei Vasilevskiy appears to be like on (Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire through Getty Images)

Although each gamers had factors in Thursday’s sport, each Tavares and Marner struggled, and I’m trying ahead to a greater Game 6.

Item Five: Mitch Marner Has Tough Game, But Gets a Point

Marner prolonged his level streak to 5 video games regardless of a tricky sport. He picked up an help and now has 11 factors (two targets and 9 assists) in 5 video games.

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Marner was stopped on a breakaway and regarded to have been troubled by the Lightning’s heavy checking. While I seldom discuss officiating, he was clearly tripped on a play that gave the Lightning an important scoring probability. However, I’m in search of Marner to come back out stronger on Saturday.

What’s Next for Maple Leafs?

The Maple Leafs now discover themselves in a tricky place after dropping Game 5 or do they? 

I’m undecided how different followers really feel, however one way or the other I really feel extra is at stake. It could possibly be my aged standing, however my coronary heart appears to be beating a bit extra rapidly and the highs are greater and the lows are decrease.

Logic tells me that Thursday’s loss might be only a bump in the highway. Any group would quite be up three video games to 2, than down by the identical. As we stand, as an alternative of successful the collection in 5 video games, the Maple Leafs now have to win both Game 6 in Tampa Bay or at dwelling in Toronto in Game 7 to advance.

Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs
Can Mitch Marner have a robust Game 6 for the Toronto Maple Leafs?
(Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Game 6 in Florida can be a tricky problem for the Maple Leafs. The Lightning are proficient, hard-working, and they’re combating and each groups’ backs are in opposition to the wall. Wouldn’t a blowout win be a soothing method for followers to take pleasure in Saturday’s sport?  Alas, it can in all probability be something however. 

Welcome to high-pressure postseason hockey.


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