Forgetting what last night’s blowout loss turned into, the Tampa Bay Lightning have some very specific and important areas of their game that they need to fix if they’re going to win this first round series.
First things first is the power play. The Leafs penalty kill is highly lauded, but it’s not perfect. There are ways to beat it and the Lightning need to both find them as well as find the urgency needed to capitalize on as many chances as possible. The Bolts had a lot of time on the power play last night and they did little to nothing with it.
“I think when you're used to getting on the PP and, then, going to center ice after you've scored, at some point, we thought it was our right and it was going to happen again and Toronto had other ideas so give them credit first and foremost. Do we have better in us? Yes”— Gabby Shirley (@Gabby_Shirley_) May 3, 2022
The second thing is to go back to what’s made them successful over the years: take care of things in their own zone and work out from there. The Leafs got a few freebies to help pad their lead, namely the goals from Matthews and Marner.
Finally, the line has been drawn with penalties and the Lightning are losing the special teams battle badly. Allowing 5v3s and shorthanded goals are just asking for trouble and are easy to fix with a little more self-control and discipline.
No more behind the play cross-checks either. Dumb penalties on the whole just cannot happen.
Cooper on surprises w/ #Leafs: “No. I’m not so sure the #Leafs had to play particularly well to beat us. You got to win four and you don’t want to give teams any freebies and we probably gave them a little bit of a freebie so I think it was hard to judge either team tonight”— Gabby Shirley (@Gabby_Shirley_) May 3, 2022
This team isn’t what they showed in Game 1. It would’ve been nice to see some of that pushback (not with fists) in the first game, but coming out on Wednesday with that effort will have to do.
Cooper on turning the page: “This is a group that has shown a lot of resiliency the last three years even when we got knocked out in the first round it took some resiliency to get back into the playoffs and do what we have done…I have the utmost confidence in our group”— Gabby Shirley (@Gabby_Shirley_) May 3, 2022
Last Night’s Results
Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0 over Tampa Bay Lightning - TOR up 1-0
Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 over Boston Bruins — CAR up 1-0
St. Louis Blues 4-0 over Minnesota Wild — STL up 1-0
Los Angeles Kings 4-3 over Edmonton Oilers — LAK up 1-0
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers
Series tied 0-0, 7:00pm, ESPN, CBC
Washington Capitals @ Florida Panthers
Series tied 0-0, 7:30pm, ESPN2, SN360
Nashville Predators @ Colorado Avalanche
Series tied 0-0, 9:30pm, ESPN, SN360
Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames
Series tied 0-0, 10:00pm, ESPN2, CBC
Here are some high/low lights from each game. First, Marner’s goal.
This was a clever goal from behind the net by Vincent Trocheck.
The Minnesota Wild also got blown out in their first game against St. Louis. Wild captain, Jared Spurgeon, did this in the third period.
The Edmonton Oilers out-played the LA Kings but lost Game 1 by a score of 4-3 because of huge gaffs and weak goals against by Mike Smith in the Oilers net.
Mike Smith plays the puck, gives it away, makes a wild save... but the Kings get one past him just after to take a 4-3 lead. pic.twitter.com/189tAwdo1e— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 3, 2022
The Oilers couldn’t win despite Connor McDavid doing this, and Leon Draisaitl scoring too.