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Keys To The Game: Leafs vs. Lightning

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

Normally when we talk about the Leafs three keys to a win, it’s something the Leafs have to be mindful of when taking on their opponents. This time, the keys focus primarily on what Toronto needs to do to get back to the team that was able to beat the likes of Boston and Chicago.

Stick To The System

The Maple Leafs have played well when they have stuck to their system of competing hard and being first to every battle for the puck. That push hasn’t been there over the last couple of games and the team has admitted that. Being aggressive on the forecheck and battling hard for the puck will eradicate much of what ails them. Getting the first goal would help, too. The Leafs are 6-0 when they score first.

Loosen Up

Randy Carlyle said that he could sense the Leafs being sloppy with the puck during Wednesday’s practice. A lot of that had to do with players feeling tense with their recent play and grabbing the sticks a little bit tight. It’s up to the Leafs too calm down and be professional during difficult times. Prospective is everything. A win can calm them down and cause the external pressures to dissipate.

Find That Scoring Touch And Clamp Down

There are ebbs and flows to any season. We’ve seen a Leafs team that can score more than five goals on three consecutive nights, only to have that followed by scoring five total goals over the next three games. Finding that scoring touch will yield better results. The Predators’ were able to get in down low to score a majority of their nine goals on Tuesday. A clamp down in front of their own goal is a must. Especially with the likes of Steven Stamkos in the building.

Tampa is coming off a loss. But have been red hot, winning eight of their last 11 games. Stamkos has nine points in his last seven games.

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