Toronto set the tone early in Game 2 of their second-round series with Florida but when the Panthers turned up the pressure, the Maple Leafs didn't seem to have a game plan to respond.
OMAR: Takeaway number one, the game ended in 47 seconds, literally. I'm not talking about 47 seconds in overtime. I'm not talking about at the beginning, right at the start of the game. 47 seconds into the second period of the game, it was over.
The Leafs were up 2-1 in the game, a bad icing call. Nylander turns over the puck in the neutral zone, goal. Mitch Marner makes a weird pass decision. I don't know why he does that. He has the puck. He can fully advance it. He makes this backwards pass to Matthews. He's not ready for it. He loses the puck.
No one can get their coverage. No one can get in control. Samsonov is cheating to the left, doesn't read the pass, goal 3-2. And that was it.
And what's so frustrating about that, what's so frustrating is that, from the beginning of the game, the Leafs were the better team again. They dictated play. They pushed. They were the first team to actually start hitting, throwing hits, being hard on the forecheck.
Yes, Florida started to respond. But the Leafs responded back. They got their power play opportunities. And they scored on them. The fourth line with Sam Lafferty, new speed, new strength. They had a strong shift in the offensive zone, goal.
Power play comes up, Marner to Ryan O'Reilly, goal. The start was incredible. And then they just stopped playing to start the period. And that was it. 2 goals against Bobrovsky? The way he's been playing this-- not even just this series. The way that Bobrovsky has been playing this entire playoffs, 2 goals is wicked. 2 goals is great.
He has looked stellar game one and game two. You had 2 goals on him. You had the lead. And you gave it up. You fully collapsed in the game. And it wasn't even the full game, just those couple of minutes.
They wasted it. They wasted the lead that they had. And you know why they wasted it? Because they tried to get it back. They tried. Again, they picked it up. They were the better team. And shot after shot, chance after chance, Bobrovsky stopped every single one. You wasted the goals that you scored on him.
It's just so frustrating that they started this at home. They set the tone early. And then they just gave up on it. They were great in the first. They dictated play. They pushed play, even with all the stupidness that took place, Matthew Knies getting that stupid-- I don't even know what to call it. It was a stupid pile of stupid with Sam Bennett. I don't even know if it's going to get looked at, probably not.
They asked Matthew Tkachuk about it. He laughed, even though Matthew Knies is going for the puck behind the net. Sam Bennett literally takes his arm as a stopgap, grabs him, hits him against the boards, and then literally Rock Bottoms him onto the ice.
With all of that-- Michael Bunting gets cross-checked in the side of the head, in the ear, and that again. Guess by who, Sam Bennett once again. All of these things took place. But the Leafs set the tone, and they just gave up on it.
And they allowed Florida to take that tone the Leafs created and then just intensify it in the second period. And they had no pushback, none. There was a solid like two and a half-minute stretch where they were getting hemmed in their net. And Samsonov was making the saves. But Florida was finishing all their checks. They just gave up on the game plan.
They had the assignment in front of them. And they said, you know what? Eh, who cares? And it cost them the game, straight up.