The Maple Leafs frustrated the Lightning's stars in its Game 1 rout, beginning with a five-minute penalty kill while the game was still goalless. Toronto's short-handed game has been impressive all season long but TicTacTOmar credits the Leafs coaching staff with making it playoff proof.
- Neutralize the [? stars. ?] Like that's, I think, what-- I think that's the main thing that I can't really, that I can't, like, wrap my head around is that is how well they're able to neutralize the [? stars. ?] That's what's wild to me because even in the 6-2 game earlier in the season when Matthews got his hat trick, the [? stars ?] still had some opportunities. But this game, all was accounted for. And they just-- they didn't have an answer.
And it's not for a lack of trying. They were frustrated. And I think the turning point of the game was that five-minute penalty kill. So as much as we're probably gonna rip on Kyle Clifford and say, oh, my gosh, you couldn't reel things in or dial things back for a little bit? I think what he did was kind of a blessing in disguise because that penalty kill changed everything, man. The crowd got into it. They started to get some offensive chances from it.
And Tampa was getting frustrated. And how do we know that? Because right at the end of the final penalty kill, they take a penalty themselves. And the frustration just slowly starts to seep through. So the penalty kill, man, that five-minute kill was huge. Power kill, pressure kill, whatever you want to call it, it was sick. And it was awesome, man, honestly.
Kudos to the Leafs coaching staff which has made the penalty kill awesome the entire year. Shout out to Dean. Dean, you're awesome. What you've been able to do with the team was wicked, but yeah, that was definitely, definitely a turning point.