The Maple Leafs take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Air Canada Centre. Here are the Leafs’ three keys to a win.
Steven Stamkos is a threat no matter what team he is playing against. Against Toronto, Stamkos has brought out his best, currently riding a six-game point streak (six goals, five assists). Toronto must find a way to take Stamkos out of the equation early. If Stamkos stays off the board, Toronto should be in pretty good shape.
The Leafs found some inspiration by signing Garrett ‘G-Man’ Gamble to a one-day contract late last week. The 11-year old from Duck Lake, Sask., gave the Leafs an emotional boost with a 4-3 comeback win over the Senators, which included a four-point night for Tyler Bozak. Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk must better then Lightning’s top players on the scoresheet. There is a lot of firepower the Leafs must outperform.
Big Start + Reimer
The Lightning will be a bit fatigued having taken on the Montreal Canadiens last night. Back-to-back games are not a common occurrence for Tampa, having last played on consecutive games on February 21-22. This presents an excellent opportunity for the Leafs to exorcise their demons with respect to the slow starts the team has suffered for much of 2015. James Reimer gets the nod in goal tonight. He has just two wins in eight starts against the Lightning.