In a 12 months of challenges, Sport 7 does not faze Leafs

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Breadcrumb Path Hyperlinks Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Hockey Publishing date: Could 13, 2022  •  15 minutes in the past  •  2 minute learn  •  Be a part of the dialog Colin Blackwell of the Toronto Maple Leafs appears to move within the third interval throughout Sport 5 of the First Spherical of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs towards the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Area on Could 12, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Photograph by Mike Ehrmann /Getty Pictures Article content material The whole 2021-22 season has been a trial for the Maple Leafs, so yet one more date with the docket isn’t fazing them. Commercial 2 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material They really feel they’ve made the case they belong with severe playoff contenders, although in Saturday’s Sport 7 they’ll want a robust closing argument of 60 minutes (or extra) to show it to themselves and the court docket of hockey opinion. “All of the work we’ve put into this 12 months has ready us, to present us an opportunity to win this collection,” stated coach Sheldon Keefe in a Friday Zoom name as they returned from a 4-3 additional time loss in Tampa Bay that tied the collection. “Due to all that work, (the deciding match) occurs to be in Toronto and offers us nice confidence.” Article content material It has been 12 eventful months for the Leafs, choosing up the items from an upset playoff loss to Montreal which was extra heavy baggage to hold into October as a part of 5 first-round losses. Then they struggled early and had COVID-19 trigger two main disruptions, an outbreak trapping many of the crew in Western Canada simply earlier than Christmas and the mid-season NHL pause that hampered their momentum. Commercial 3 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material A few different self-inflicted wounds took them out of first place rivalry and compelled a collection towards the Cup champion Lightning. But in a 12 months they set franchise data for wins, factors and racked up many particular person honours, it was a match they’ve embraced. Their 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads, all taken again by the seasoned Lightning, have been capped Thursday after they rallied from down two targets to be a half interval away from their first collection win since 2004. Then got here consecutive minors in a largely penalty-free night, the 5-on-3 tying purpose and Brayden Level’s winner late within the first additional time interval. Sure, a hell of a season, however for an impatient fan base, the ghosts of playoffs previous are extra distinguished. Eight probabilities to win a collection since 2018 have now been wasted, together with three final season towards Montreal. Commercial 4 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material We apologize, however this video has did not load. “Our crew this season is uniquely completely different,” countered Keefe. “Our high gamers are executing at essential instances (Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Jack Campbell and in Sport 6, John Tavares) and enjoying effectively as a gaggle. “To go toe to toe with the back-to-back champions, I really feel our high gamers are thriving, the grit we’ve proven to return again … I nonetheless really feel this crew has plenty of struggle. “The opponent doesn’t make it simpler, however we’re not uncomfortable going into this. The sensation in our crew is certainly one of nice confidence.” The Leafs who have been made out there Friday weren’t hanging their heads after Sport 6. “That’s playoffs, there might be ups and downs alongside the best way,” defenceman Mark Giordano stated. “Beginning at house is one thing we’re wanting ahead to.” Giordano echoed Matthews’ sentiment from Thursday that the crew ought to simply “put our balls on the road and go for it” at Sport 7 puck drop. “Now we have to have that mentality. After we’re on our recreation, we’re ok to beat all people. It’s powerful proper after a recreation like (Thursday). However you get up, it’s a brand new day and tomorrow we’ll be again residence. I’m wanting ahead to enjoying at that recreation.” lhornby@postmedia.com Share this text in your social community Commercial 1 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. 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