The Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning (optional) skate at the Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.
The Leafs were bested 18-6 while losing Do-or-die games in four consecutive playoff series. Toronto have scored only two goals in their last three games where the winner has won it all.
“We came out a little flat in those matches, maybe we were a little afraid of losing,” we admitted William Nylander. “We don’t need to be afraid of losing. We have a great team and the best team will win tonight.”
The Leafs held a full skate Saturday morning before Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the atmosphere looked loose. The players were even chanting “Soooooup” when Jack Campbell Nice tackle.
The Leafs held a pre-game 7 skate elective against Montreal Canadiens last year with most regulars staying off the ice.
Bidding Leaves Jack Campbell Some chants of “Sooooup” after I saved up in the morning skiing pic.twitter.com/gP6TIPp5Mr
– markhmasters May 14, 2022
“There will always be tension, so he takes it,” said winger Mitch Marner, who has provided one assist in his last three games. “We’re not going to talk about the past. We just have to think about here and now and focus on this. It’s a great opportunity at hand. We have to be ready for this opportunity and take it head on and not shy away from this spotlight, we’re excited about that.”
“The mood is great,” said coach Sheldon Keefe. “I mean, I don’t feel any nerves. I just feel confident and excited.”
Does the coach manage any nerves?
“I don’t have anything,” he said. “That’s as much confidence as I’ve been coaching this team.”
Keefe, Matthews all smiling as the Leafs Skate game begins pic.twitter.com/FGGf8G4NNQ
– markhmasters May 14, 2022
Foliage has looked like a different, more complete team for most of this season. Toronto established franchise records in points and wins and earned the home ice advantage in this opening round.
Marner emphasized, “It’s obviously a different group, different people in the locker room. We’ve done different things this year, just done better things, and got confidence there. So, he’s just making sure we bring that confidence to the ice and see what we can do.” with it “.
Foliage has responded well every time Tampa has fallen back in the series.
“Both teams hit each other on the backside a little,” Keefe noted. “Both teams have picked themselves up and keep going. We’ve been there with back-to-back champions and our guys have grown so much confidence by knowing they belong to this moment.”
Lightning can draw on their experience, including Game 7’s win in the Stanley Cup semi-finals against the New York Islanders last year.
“Experience doesn’t win you a game, but it certainly can help in tough times,” said coach John Cooper. “You can’t let the moment get too big for you. This is a big message for guys…Don’t let the moment consume you.”
Andrei Vasilevsky It has emerged as the closest final playoff by scoring close in Tampa’s last five close matches, including twice in the Stanley Cup Final. However, the Lightning goalkeeper wasn’t at his best in the streak, scoring 0.85 saves.
“All I know about Vasey is that when the lights come on, he seems to be standing up and playing his best,” Cooper said. “I’ve seen it over and over again and I’m not expecting anything else tonight.”
The Leafs are looking to advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2004, but Lightning also has a lot at stake. No team has won three consecutive championships since the islanders did in the early 1980s.
“I don’t want anyone to sit here and say, ‘Well, is it easier because we won two cups? If the Leafs win the best of us tonight, that’s fine. “This is BS. We’re standing here, like, on the cusp of greatness and why the hell wouldn’t we ship out that door.”
It will be the first time the Leafs have played a Game of 7 in front of a crowded house in Toronto since 2004 when they beat the Ottawa Senators.
Marner expects a “crazy” atmosphere much like what the Toronto Raptors enjoyed during their run to the 2019 NBA title.
“I was here for a lot of rap matches when they had some crazy matches and the atmosphere was pretty unbelievable,” said Marner. “I’m sure the city will be crowded.”
Keefe called the fans “the first star” in his first match victory and also felt that the revolutionaries helped his team get back in the fifth game.
“I know our fans will have it tonight,” Keefe said.
Lightning hopes to turn this into an uncomfortable environment for the Leafs by getting off to a good start.
“The only thing about crowds is that they can get you excited and they can also make you very nervous,” Cooper noted. “Your playing as a visiting team can dictate that.”
There was consistent display in the box throughout the series. Toronto scored 41 penalties, leading to the playoffs. Lightning has taken 36 penalty kicks.
“We expected that they would call for penalties,” Keefe said. “They’re going to call up fouls and we have to take responsibility with sticks. We have to move our feet. We have to establish body position and at the same time, we can’t get distracted or lose focus on how the game was called or not. There are enough distractions and things that happen out of scope. Our control is as it is.”
Wes McCauley and Eric Furlatt will blow the whistles on Saturday in Toronto.
“It’s no surprise that you’ve got two of your most seasoned referees going into the game tonight,” Keefe said. “They’ll do a good job and their best job is to call what we should call it, but let the game play. That’s my expectation.”
7 rulers game for Tweet embed Tweet embed They are #4 Wes McCauley, #27 Eric Furlatt #50 Scott Cherry #71 Brad Kovachik I am not surprised that these 4 Officials are considered 4 of the best in #NHL # Leaves #Lightning
– Tim Bell (@timCPeel20) May 14, 2022
Corey Berry I spoke to the media before Match 2, Match 4, and Match 6 – all a Lightning win – so it was no surprise to see the veteran winger back on the podium on Saturday morning. This will be the seventh game of the tenth of his career.
“7s is exciting,” said Berry. “You never know what could happen…that’s where you make names. They appear in Game 7 you’ll be remembered for.”
Perry scored in Game Seven against the Leafs last year when he played for the Montreal Canadiens.
Marner’s wand broke when he received a pass during a strength training exercise. Good luck getting that out of the way in the morning skiing?
“It’s the first time,” he said, “so we’ll see.”
Is a stick broken in the morning good luck?
Mitch Marner: It’s the first time so we’ll see
This was during the power play actors 👇 pic.twitter.com/P2ohKWGEtM
– markhmasters May 14, 2022
Leaf lines in Saturday morning skiing:
Darsa – Matthews – Marner
Mikheev – Tavares – Kervot
Nylander – Kampf – Engvall
Spiza – Blackwell – Cassie
Riley – Lyubushkin
Muzzin – Brody
Giordano – Hall
Saturday morning skating units:
Wings: Matthews, Marner
The net front: Tavares
Wings: Spiza, Brody
Retinal front: study