Why Leafs Fans Should be Hopeful for a Round One Victory vs. Tampa Bay

Ben Jordan
April 14, 2023  (5:44 PM)

Why Leafs Fans Should be Hopeful for a Round 1 Victory vs. Tampa Bay

Coming off another stellar regular season, the Maple Leafs are looking to break a 17-year streak where they have failed to make it to the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
They are facing the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second straight year in the opening round. Although the Lightning have been reeling since early February, Leaf fans know all too well about beating themselves. If the Leafs come into this series with anything but their best, they are in for an early golf season.
But here's why Leafs Nation should be confident going into next week's clash. The offseason and trade deadline were areas that separated the Leafs and Lightning this past year. In the off-season, the Leafs stabilized their goaltending with Ilya Samsonov, who has been great all season. They also brought in some scoring depth and versatile forwards in Calle Jarnkrok and Zach Aston-Reese. Tampa Bay lost minute munching, tough to play against Ryan McDonagh, as well as top-line leftwinger Ondrej Palat as salary cap casualties.
At the deadline, Kyle Dubas made a flurry of moves headlined around veteran center Ryan O'Reilly. He injects a nice blend of physicality, versatility, and offense into an already-loaded forward group. In addition to O'Reilly, the Leafs also acquired help on the backend in the form of Jake McCabe, who has looked great in a shutdown role. On the Tampa side, their main acquisition was gritty forward Tanner Jeannot, who struggled to produce much on the score sheet and went down with a gruesome-looking knee injury. Unsure whether he will be good to go come game one next Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena.
With everything that Dubas has done to bolster an already-loaded Leafs roster, get ready to party, Toronto!
As Read On The Globe and Mail - Why the Leafs Will Win the First Round of the NHL Playoffs
APRIL 14   |   351 ANSWERS
Why Leafs Fans Should be Hopeful for a Round One Victory vs. Tampa Bay

Will the Leafs knock off Tampa Bay this year?

Yes26274.6 %
No8925.4 %
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