Why Offend Matthews of Maple Leafs, Marner Will Be Hard to Find in Tampa - Sportsnet.ca

Why Offend Matthews of Maple Leafs, Marner Will Be Hard to Find in Tampa – Sportsnet.ca

TAMPA – As the Toronto Maple Leafs-Tampa Bay Lightning marquee changes streak into the top five and moves south of the border, another shift occurs as well.

This shift is more subtle, and we suspect it’s more important for all those little fights that add up to one team outperforming the other.

Lightning’s Jon Cooper will have the final changeover in Matches 3 and 4 at the Amalie Arena on Friday and Sunday, which means that the most energetic coach of this era will undoubtedly deploy his best stopping unit against the Toronto Maple Leafs’ worldwide offensive line for Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Michael Banting.

Matthews (two goals, three assists) and Marner (ditto) have already matched or exceeded their output by two (home) playoff games against Andrei Vasilevsky as they did during seven games against Carrie Price last May is a rich source of confidence within Maple wallpaper .

[brightcove videoID=6305659038112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

But it also refers to the in-game matching game.

With the last streak still changing in games 1 and 2, Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe chose to align offensive power against offensive power. As a result, Banting – Matthews – Marner managed to beat Ondrej Balat – Stephen Stamkus – Nikita Kucherov.

Locals were quick to criticize the lack of production from Toronto’s second line Ilya Mikheev – John Tavares – Alexander Kervot should realize they have had to deal with a lot of Tampa’s high-profile closing streak of Alex Keelerne – Anthony Cirelli – Brayden Point.

(True, Tavares was stopped to make only one pass in the series. He also didn’t allow a goal and had a 5-v-5 scoring chance, 10-8, despite facing tough competition.)

All of that will be upended once Cooper lands at the dealership’s location at the Amalie Arena.

“It gives them a little edge,” Keefe admitted Thursday. “The biggest thing, really, is how they’re going to manage their defense. From a front-end perspective, I think it’s going to be more defined by standoff positions and things like that.

“I imagine you’ll see Point and Cirelli and Killorn trying to get a lot of time against Matthews and all that.”

While Stamkos and Kucherov feel a duty to generate humiliation, and were liable to give up more opportunities in the other direction, Cirelli’s unit is contacted on D.

Cirelli—who has just appeared on Selke’s ballots for four years in a row—must give Matthews and Marner the way Philip Danault did in the frustrating Montreal streak.

“Good, smart player. He has good instincts,” Keefe said.

“He is a guy who doesn’t take many chances in attack, so he is in a good position defensively. He is a good and reliable player for them.”

[brightcove videoID=6305664497112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

Matthews, a great two-way hub in his own right, understands what’s on deck.

“Yeah, he’s good. He plays well on both sides of the disc. He plays fast. Versatile. Matthews said he does everything for them too – death penalty, power play.”

“He flies a bit under the radar, but he’s clearly a big driver for them.”

Key numbers indicate that Toronto-born Cirelli (a good friend of Marner) is Tampa’s top forward driver.

No regular Lightning striker has a better corsair or chances of scoring in percentage at 5-on-5 (53-plus) than Cirelli.

Although Cirelli started 55 percent of his turnovers in the defensive zone, Tampa outperformed the opponent 45-38 when he was on the ice.

This is the result of talent and smooth skating with a sable-like work ethic.

“He’s great at winning 50/50 fights – something I don’t think gets talked about enough,” Killorn said.

The good news for Toronto?

If Cirelli is stapled to Matthews, Tavares should be able to make more room for himself and his wings.

Those crucial, if not so obvious in-game tests are about to be rearranged.

Any team that could benefit from this new wrinkle could influence who holds the hammer when the series returns to Toronto next week.

one timer: Keefe refused to raise his hand on Thursday regarding potential changes to Game 3’s lineup. The doubt is Kyle Clifford or Jason Spiza will replace Wayne Symonds on the fourth line. …the other series that caught Matthews’ attention? Pittsburgh – New York. “Those two teams are really fun to watch,” Matthews said. … Cooper on 22 extraordinary powerhouses handed out through two games: “Just speaking of our series, most of these penalties are due. Both teams need to realize this.” … The Maple Leafs boarded a bus to Buffalo on Thursday to fly to Buffalo on Thursday. Tampa Bay from there, thus avoiding the risks of a positive rapid test.

2022-05-05 19:44:00

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.