Before the match, John Cooper noted, “Usually, these odd-numbered games — games 3 and 5 — in the series are very pivotal games. These are not as pivotal as Game 5, but they are very close.”
Without a doubt, this was the best hockey game in the series. The Leafs knocked him out at the front and now leads the series 2-1.
Let’s break everything in the game into 10:
1. I’ve always been fascinated by how teams start matches – specifically, who the coaches send on the first shift to set the tone. The Leafs started in John Tavares Stream through the first two games in response to Lightning’s announcement of their starting lineup featuring Brayden Point – Anthony Cirelli Line. In this game, Sheldon Keefe made the opening transformation into Auston Matthews Line.
In the first transformation, the lightning went deep, and Cirelli was a huge success Ilya Lyubushkincreating an aperture rotation rate of Brayden Pointwho could have scored. It was a difficult start, especially for Lyubushkin.
dress decision Justin Hall So sit down Timothy Lillegren It generated a lot of discussion. I suppose a large part of the decision-making logic in the technical staff was based on Hall’s desire to carry out the death penalty. He’s a legitimately good penalty shooter, and the lightning-force play lit up the foliage in Game 2.
Jason Spiza He’s back too, so he’s replacing Liljegren in the power game. If you decide that Hole is actually playing and you totally take out Liljegren in the process, the question is whether to keep the Rielly – Lyubushkin pairing together or the Giordano – Liljegren pairing together in 5v5.
I’m not necessarily saying I agree with her, but that’s really the context for the decision. And Lyubushkin was everywhere in this game, in a good and bad way.
2. The Force has yet to score in a 5v4 trend in this game, but that changed fairly quickly in this game as the Leafs scored in the first PP of the game.
There have been some subtle tweaks made to the man feature by the Leafs. the main: William Nylander I started on half of the wall to start playing power. Nylander and . cards have been swapped Mitch Marner On half the wall – and even moving Auston Matthews On his temporary side – but the Nylander generally didn’t get into it. I did in this.
3. Leafs power play was a bit static at first – specifically, Auston Matthews He was taking passes standing still. They are at their best when Matthews catches the puck when downhill skiing, and lo, when did the power game open up? After Matthews skated in the middle of the ice from the top of the blue line and hit a stride. They just started shooting pucks at the net from there.
The goal came from a Matthews temporary one, a Mitch Marner They shot the recoil, and Morgan Riley Potting Rebound Marner.
The other thing worth noting: Sheldon how he held first place for two full minutes. It’s the start of the match, and he’s trying to make them realize the importance of the first goal in the game. You have succeeded in this case.
4. In Game 2, Lightning was making his way with the Leafs in a game of strength. In the first test in this test, the Leafs’ PK went back to what made them successful in Game 1: Prevent Tampa Bay from establishing the territory.
We talked about how to use foliage a lot TJ Brody And Justin Hall In PK all season—particularly during April—but even with Hall’s return, Muzzin-Brodie was the opener on the death penalty.
Right when he killed Leaves, Muzzin had a CD on his stick under some pressure in a scenario somewhat similar to how the first period in Game 2 ended (where he couldn’t get it out, and Tampa Bay scored soon after). This time, Muzzin came off the disc, the Leafs went the other way in a 3-on-1 game, and the Leafs buried her.
The big problem I’ve had with the Leafs in the past years has been that it wasn’t always about playing right; It was about who was the most skilled and getting those puck/ice time players at any cost. This was just a case of playing right.
Pierre Engvall knew it was Ilya Lyubushkin To his right, he’s not exactly a playmaker or scorer, and you can tell Engvall to think about it for a second. Lyubushkin was simply too open and in too big a space, so Engvall chopped it up and led the net. Lyubushkin had a special moment and did a special play Colin Blackwell for a 2-0 goal. This is good hockey.
5. Alex Killorn jogged Justin Hall At the bell, a scrum ensued, and the Leafs went to the power play to start the second. She even switched to 5v3 for 25 seconds (that was a huge loss in the showdown, essentially nullifying any chance there was).
You have to be careful with these things with Tampa Bay; It’s as if they are looking for strange behaviors sometimes to get them excited and get them in the game. The Leafs haven’t scored in the power games, and Lightning appears to be gaining some momentum, but he’s entering David Kampf.
Kampf has a file a series Immediately. we mentioned Ilya Lyubushkin Being all over the place in this – he got an unofficial assist on goal. With Branden Hagel coming off the wing, he went up and made a good blow. The disc came out of the area, Hagel picked up the disc in a similar spot with Lyubushkin’s back again, and Hagel made a poor pass that resulted in a spin. Kampf ice skated and straight beat Andrei Vasilevskiy with a wrestler.
Those are now two targets for Kampf in this series, and both have him legitimately beating Vasilevskiy. There were no bounces or odd deviations. He ice skated and hit it straight.
Kampf scored one goal in 56 games last season. He has now reached 11 out of 82 this season (one of which was a free-court goal). It’s the great contributions from role players like these that make the playoffs so interesting.
6. With the score 3-0, the match looked reasonably under control for the Leafs. Justin Hall He played a good first period and contributed to a penalty kick in the first half as expected. At 3-0, he must undo the play leading up to the 3-1 goal. It simply cannot happen.
It was a bad bounce, and there wasn’t much forward support. You have achieved three goals. You are on the road. You have to skate again and play it safe at that point. He took a penalty for rushing, and the lightning made them push this time.
The Leafs also drifted too far in the death penalty itself. After a spin in the middle of the ice in Lightning blueline, instead of returning it to depth, Alex Kerfoot Stop with the puck and try to play. It was dropped, Lightning dropped on a solo lunge, and the Leafs never recovered the disc before Ross Colton tore down a makeshift rig.
These were two really weak states of situational awareness (or lack thereof) which made it a game again.
7. The Leafs were fortunate to go out in the second half with a 3-1 score. TJ Brody He made a goal-keeping dive to block the ball when Colton looked at a clean and empty sheet, but even then Tampa Bay continued to play for the final five minutes or so of the period.
I think Keefe and the coaching staff were well aware of it. They were knocked out in the third inning and hit Croft in the first row. The Ilya Mikheev – David Kampf – Pierre Engvall The line was also included.
It almost paid off with a goal, too. Auston Matthews He went to break up (and got his recovery in vain). quite yet, Mitch Marner He fired a shot that peeked at Vasilevskiy and hit the crossbar.
8. Andrei Vasilevsky made a few big saves before plunging Tampa Bay onto the ice and making it one goal. it’s not bad target on Jack Campbellbut it was saveable.
It was a wrist shot from the top of the circuit with minimal traffic up front. If anything, it looked like a broken play (Campbell hit the disc out of the air to get it there in the first place), and he probably wouldn’t have been able to reset himself properly. He clipped the disc from his shoulder a little, but he didn’t get enough of it.
The match 3-0 is now 3-2, and the match went on completely.
9. Even if you don’t like this goal, Jack Campbell Over stand tall the rest of the way.
Nick Paul walked TJ Brody Entering on her own, Campbell came hard with a saving toe. In the power play that followed, Stephen Stamkos provisionally fired one seam pass, and Campbell closed the door. Brandon Hagel had a good chance soon after; Once again, Campbell stood there.
There’s been a lot of talk about goal pursuit in this series—and for many, rightly reasons—but for me, Campbell beat Vasilevsky in this series, and that was the story. It came hugely with the game at stake.
10. In the knockout penalty kick in the latter half of the third inning and the turnarounds that followed, the Leafs used a lot Jake Muzin – TJ Brody And Mark Giordano – Justin Hall To close most of this game. The Pierre Engvall, David Kampf, Ilya Mikheev The line has seen a lot of time, and Alex Kerfoot It was an essential component of Auston Matthews line up with Mitch Marner.
Wrapping up the match with progression, these were generally the 10 players the Leafs wanted on the ice. Despite all the criticism he receives – and he did one poor play – Lightning scored from one penalty spot as Hall was in the penalty area, and did a good job helping to kill the other two. Hall helped them decide the lead and the match in the end as well.
We’ve almost come to the point where looking at and discussing Leafs becomes irrelevant. Pierre Engvall He was supposed to be in the fourth line – playing 15:09, more than Michael BantingAnd Ondrej CassieAnd Kerfoot. That great third line that we’ve talked about a lot has been pretty much included in that line. Among any Leafs in this game, this trio played 3rd place together.
In terms of matches in this match, Tampa Bay committed seriously to the Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli streak, as well as the matings of Victor Hedman and Eric Cernak, in line with Matthews’ streak.
The John Tavares – William Nylander The reunion did not create anything substantial, which is very common for them. Neither player has done much in two consecutive games, and no other streak would make Tampa Bay think offensively twice.
In 5v5, Leafs don’t create much outside the top line (which is why force play is important). The third streak was great, but they were more offensive opportunists than anything else. Playing Tampa Bay at 5v5 in this game was controlled in terms of possession, scoring chances and expected goals – and it wasn’t just because they were losing, though score effects played a role in the end, of course.
Jack Campbell He was excellent, and Lives had a number of players who came forward with big goals. You need to win games like this in the playoffs, but you have to be honest about what’s going on as well, when planning your next match.
The de facto third streak has been great and Matthews and Marner are doing as good a job as you can ask against a really tough game. The second line gives very little foliage, and the fourth line without the enforcers at least stops the antics from the fourth line of Tampa Bay.
The Leafs lead 2-1 in the series. Getting the second line going somehow (Did you move Bunting down and keep Kerfoot in the top line? Did you move the Nylander up and have Tavares/Kerfoot/Kase on the Tavares wing? Is there another option?) that would catapult this team to another stage.
Game flow: 5 vs 5 shot attempts
Heat map: 5 vs 5 shots