May 20, 2022

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There isn’t any disgrace in shedding to a two-time Stanley Cup winner.

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For the Maple Leafs, nonetheless, the ache that hit exhausting on Scotiabank Enviornment late Saturday night time is right here to remain.

The Leafs did not take one shift with no consideration and left every thing on the ice, as they are saying, however it wasn’t sufficient to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Recreation 7.

In spite of everything, the expertise the Lightning gained in back-to-back Cup victories was greater than the first-round losses the Leafs have suffered prior to now 5 years. For six years in a row, the Leafs haven’t superior to the second spherical.

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Whereas Tampa wanted goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to make huge saves once in a while, the Lightning did not flinch after a 3-2 loss within the sequence, successful the final two video games.

Within the third interval, the Leafs landed 17 pictures on Vasilevskiy and none of them scored. It will not go away for some time both.

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“It is a sport of inches,” mentioned Auston Matthews. “It is actually irritating, very disappointing. Each man there competed and gave all the perfect. They ended up enjoying another sport than us.

“These are Cup champions in a row and this can be a crew that has been by way of so much. They endured plenty of grief and climbed to the highest two years in a row. We’re shut.”

THE GAME STARTED
It was Tampa Coach John Cooper this morning: “We’re not shocked how good they’re. They knock on the door for thus lengthy. I believe they’ve grown as a bunch, I believe their stars are nonetheless stars. They’ve actually good crew play and the coach does a hell of a job getting ready them. The Leafs have a hell of a crew.” … We do not assume that angle would have modified a lot after the sport, and Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe made the next remark: “We obtained plenty of respect in that line (handshake) from their crew, which was good to see.” It was a really totally different tone of respect from the opposite facet than what we had skilled earlier than. We earn respect within the league, however not within the respect sport. We’re in a successful sport and we’ve got to discover a approach to do it.” … Already inflicting nightmares for the Leafs Nation, Nick Paul practically made issues worse when he crashed into Jack Campbell at 4 minutes to 3. Campbell obtained up favoring his left foot however stayed within the sport after just a few troubling moments… The Leafs had six pictures on purpose when Ondřej Palat filed a minor hook that got here at 6:19 of the third however No. 1 sport in didn’t get previous Vasilevskiy for almost all of the common season… Certainly one of his most stunning targets in latest reminiscence, John Tavares scored at 8:32 seconds as he swung across the web and the pile of gamers to seize the puck previous Vasilevskiy. Nonetheless, as a substitute of the sport being tied at 1–1, the purpose was disallowed as Justin Corridor was referred to as up for interfering with Anthony Cirelli. As tough because it was for the Leaves to swallow this episode, Corridor’s name was unavoidable. He threw a lance at Cirelli, and had it not been for this, Tavares won’t have escaped Cirelli’s shah. “I didn’t truly see him,” Tavares mentioned. “I rapidly noticed it on the bench. It is exhausting for me to remark. (Corridor) instructed me he was simply making an attempt to take his seat. A kind of that may in all probability go both means. … The Leafs not solely killed the penalty, they did not let it have an effect on their will. At 13:25, Morgan Rilly took a cross from Matthews and shot extensive of Vasilevskiy to get a draw that the Leafs had thought 5 minutes earlier… Paul scored his second purpose of the sport at 16:32 seconds when he managed to take T.J. Brodie by one after the other and beat Campbell at vary. “That is the place heroes are born,” veteran Corey Perry mentioned of Recreation 7 general. “Possibly it is not a giant man. It may very well be somebody you have by no means heard of doing one thing that takes us to the subsequent stage.” We have heard of Paul, in fact, however as Perry mentioned, it wasn’t the large man doing it for Tampa… not like final yr, when the Leafs misplaced Recreation 7 to the Montreal Canadiens, and within the 2020 bubble , when the Leafs misplaced a decisive Recreation 5 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto wasn’t afraid to start out the sport… The Leafs have been at their finest from the primary faceoff, taking cost within the first few shifts. Pierre Engvall and Marner had early probabilities…Bryden Level was in apparent ache as he hobbled straight into the dressing room at 5:11 p.m. on the primary after falling awkwardly onto the sideboards. Level favored the precise foot, and whereas it did not look good for the Tampa ahead, he returned for the second interval. Level spent one shift on the ice and thumped the ice in desperation as he returned to the bench. He did not play once more, however remained on the bench for the remainder of the sport… The Lightning have been on the board at 18:24 of the primary interval when Paul scored on the rebound from Ross Colton.

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