The Tampa Bay Lightning’s magical season continued with a display of skill, grit and luck, laying a 6-2 drubbing on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena Monday night.
The half empty, half fun scenario will certainly be an explanation Leafs Nation may apply with Tampa’s first four goals all redirected off legs and skates.
Yes, that’s true but the realist will also add that those bounces came as a result of poor execution in their own end, sloppy passes and numerous giveaways, some forced, some not.
Tampa hemmed the Leafs in their own zone cycling the play around the perimeter in what looked like keep away at times. When they did manage to gain control, it was like a grenade on their sticks that too many times was turned over to the patient Lightning forwards.
After the fourth goal deflected behind Frederik Andersen in what appeared to be one of those games, Mike Babcock gave him the rest of the night off. The Leafs mounted a short lived push back highlighted by a nifty goal from Auston Matthews giving the faithful followers some hope.
Then with the man advantage after a Tampa clear Garrett Sparks for some reason stayed in his net instead of playing the puck allowing the Lightning forwards to play tic-tac-toe and it was lights out, so to speak.
A bad loss all around and the Leafs didn’t capitalize on Boston’s loss Sunday with a chance to cut their lead to 2-points in the standings.
Next up the Chicago Black Hawks Wednesday followed by Philadelphia Friday before a trip to the Nations Capital Saturday. If they have any hope of overtaking the Bruins for second place these are must games.