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Leafs Dominate Game 3

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

When your most dangerous players get nullified at even-strength by one of the most effective shutdown trios in hockey, it’s up to the role players to elevate and make an impact.

Such was the case in Game 3 of this seesaw series rocking back and forth between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, where the only safe bet from game to game or period to period is that the players decked out in blue and white will dominate.

With special teams again impacting (but not deciding) the outcome, a couple of unsung forwards on the visiting side, Colin Blackwell and David Kämpf, provided cherished 5-on-5 goals, pushing the Leafs to a 5-2 victory on enemy ice.

On the strength of coach Sheldon Keefe’s balanced bottom six, they swiped home-ice

On the strength of coach Sheldon Keefe’s balanced bottom-six — 83 per cent of whom were acquired via trade or free agency by GM Kyle Dubas — the Leafs dug in to swipe home-ice advantage back Friday as swiftly as they fumbled it away Wednesday.

“It just so happens at this time of year, you need some guys to step out of character a bit. Tonight, that was the case,” Keefe said. “You need guys to make plays, step up.”


Highlights are below.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Leafs are definitely deeper and have more options
re: what kind of game to play against Tampa.

I guess they wanted to make a physical impression,
but there are limits to what Clifford and even Simmons
at this stage of his career can accomplish versus the penalties
they’re likely to take.

They have more experienced defenders now, too.

If their goaltending holds up, they have a real chance in this
and later rounds. Vasilevskiy hasn’t lost back to back in a while,
but he’s not facing normal firepower and the Leafs could win in seven,
if with his no losses in back to back games streak intact.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/07/22 at 05:42 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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