The Maple Leafs are tied 2-2 with Tampa in their first round Stanley Cup series and still hold home-ice advantage but the manner of defeat in Game 4 was alarming to Toronto fans, who had hoped this edition of their team would be different when the playoff pressure was turned up.
- By losing this game, this series is tied. It's not like they're down 3-1 or whatever in the series and the next game is an elimination game. I get that. But it's-- it's the context of this loss that sits with me and that's really, really, really irritating me because they had an opportunity to really, really make Tampa sweat, like, seriously.
And that was the message last year. When are we gonna get to a point where we-- when the team has an opportunity to really end a team, to really put some fear into a team, when are we going to see them actually take it, take that opportunity?
Imagine. Imagine they win today, and then you're going back home. Roaring fans. Scotiabank Arena will be nuts. Outside Maple Leaf Square will be nuts. Twitter will be crazy. But the hype around it with an opportunity to end the game where, for the first time in a while, the Tampa Bay Lightning will have their back against the wall.
Now, yes, of course, that's the oppor-- that's the game we probably expect to see the best of Tampa, for sure. But just imagine being in that position, and then you show up with this thing. I'm not even gonna call it a game, just this thing. Right off the hop, just not ready to play.
And how many times have we seen that about this team, where they're not ready to play a playoff game? How were you not ready to play a game like this? You've been in this series long enough. You know that when you beat Tampa, they come back in the game, and they push. You should be ready for that. You should be expecting that.
So I don't understand how you can be run out of the building off the second shift. Off the second shift, they were out of the game. Hits left and right. Turnovers left and right. They couldn't get out of their zone. And then you blink, and then Tampa has 3 goals on, like, seven shots. And they only had one.
I don't-- I don't get it. I don't understand. And, honestly, I usually look at the postgame quotes. This might be one where I completely try to avoid. But, obviously, there's some I'll want to look at. But I think every single one might frustrate me because I don't understand how you were not ready for this game.
I don't understand how you're not jacked for this game. I don't understand how you're not expecting Tampa to come out flying. Jon Cooper has been saying all of this stuff about you.
It's a freebie. We're not scoring enough goals. It's-- we're making it easy for them. How can you watch Jon Cooper say all this stuff and then not get pissed off about it and say, you know what? Screw you. We're gonna put some serious fear into you.