Lightning take Leafs’ spirit and manhood in a Game Four thumping.
Series Tied 2-2
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed three goals (all in garbage time) on 25 shots for the victory. He didn’t let the Leafs back into the game in the opening 40 to deliver the Lightning into that garbage time.
1:00 TB Stamkos (1), (Kucherov, Hedman)
5:20 TB Bellemare (1), (unassisted)
7:58 TB Maroon (1), (Sergachev)
3:17 TB Colton (2), (Hagel, Foote)
5:25 TB Perry (2), (Kucherov, Point)(PP)
2:27 TOR Nylander (1), (Matthews, Rielly)(PP)
12:01 TOR Nylander (2), (Tavares)
14:40 TB Palat (2), (unassisted)(EN)
15:41 TOR Muzzin (2), (Brodie, Blackwell)
17:44 TB Colton (3), (Hagel, McDonagh)(EN)
Victor Hedman, Brandon Hagel, and Pat Maroon were the game’s three stars. I’m kind of surprised they just didn’t give it to the whole fourth line including Bellemare and Perry after they blew the Leafs off the ice early.
First goal in Game Five, if the Lightning can get it, might be critical because the Leafs look like a team spalling around the edges and I’m not sure they wouldn’t implode if the Lightning can get an early lead in Toronto next game out. I actually like Sheldon Keefe, but my God his body language behind the bench was awful during this game. People like to complain about Cooper’s stoic gum chewing, but stoic gum chewing is way better than looking like you’re a hostage in a hostile foreign country while adversity ransacks your club.
This Leafs team is soft. The TBS guys tried to absolve William Nylander of his soft forecheck flyby in the Second Period because he got a couple of garbage time goals. Nope. Soft. Super soft. And then Pierre Engvall, 6’5″ tall, refused to fight 5’10” and 170-some lbs soaken wet Brandon Hagel at the end of the contest. Big chicken deathly afraid of getting beat up by a little nugget: story at eleven. Tampa’s had their moments where they were badly on the wrong side of the ledger in this series, but they didn’t sag the way everyone on the Leafs did in this game: coach and players down the line. Now the Lightning need to do something they’ve been unable to do so far in this series: put a savvy, spirited back to back effort on the ice. If they do, this series will tilt decisively in their favor very quickly, in my opinion.