The Lightning will try to regroup and play a much better game two tonight in Toronto.
After getting blown out 5-0 in game one, the Lightning will have to play much better in every area of the game to avoid a repeat of the beat down that occurred in game one.
That was the worst Lightning defeat in a playoff game since a 6-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1996.
As Pat Maroon said yesterday, the Lightning is a heavy team, and they have to play that way. The Bolts have to bring more of a physical game than they did Monday night.
It is frustrating to watch Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner have so much open ice, and everyone stands around and watches.
Hit someone, please! Anyone? Put a body on someone. The Leafs need to know that when they cross that center line, they will have Lightning players ready for a meet and greet and constantly have a body harassing them in the offensive zone.
That did not happen Monday night.
The Lightning was more reactive than proactive, and that showed in the final 5-0 score.
Jon Cooper did not want to dwell too much on game one. “Learn from what we did last night, or what we didn’t do, and move on,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
“We’ve had a feel for what this is going to be, in the building and the players. But we’ve got to dig a little deeper. The players know that. It was way too easy a night for their goaltender. We’re a proud group, and I’m not worried about these guys.”
Losing a game one in a series is not new for the Lightning. The Lightning lost the opening game in the SCF to the Dallas Stars and came back to win the series.
The Lightning also lost the opening game in two playoff series last season and came back to win the series.
Copper talked about the Bolt’s ability to rebound from a game one loss. “The mood is much different than it was last night. You build on things you have done in the past. This isn’t the first time we’ve lost Game 1 and come back to win the series. It’s not ideal, but it’s not like uncharted water, either.”
The Lightning will have to play better in every area to give themselves a chance to win on Wednesday night. It starts with the guy in Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Although Vasy was not the reason the Lightning trail in the series 1-0, he let in a goal or two that I have seen him stop before. He has to be better.
The Bolts need to play more physical in game two. Initiate the contact. Don’t react to what Toronto is doing. Set the tone right from the opening face-off.
The Lightning penalty kill went 1-8 against the Maple Leafs. That is a pretty good percentage against the best power play in the league. However the power play of the Lightning was atrocious.
The Lightning had 15 minutes of power-play time and couldn’t get anything past Jack Campbell. That included a five on three.
Nick Paul has replaced Pat Maroon on the second power-play unit to try to get a bit more offense generated.
There were a lot of lazy passes from the Lightning. When the Lightning is playing their game, their passing game is one of the best in the league. The Lightning must have a better passing if they are to win game two.
Toronto has not proven that they can play well with a lead in the series. Last season the Leafs were up 3-1 on Montreal and lost the series 4-3.
The Lightning is the most experienced team in the playoffs. I look for a solid effort, and a rebound win in game two.