Pre-Game Brief: Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning, Game 5

Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Game 5 in this best of 7 series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning will come down to three words, “Gut Wrenching Determination”.

The Maple Leafs have an abundance of skill, speed and grit but their determination will dictate the beginning of game 5 in Toronto.  It’s time for the leafs to wrap up this series in the next two games and move on to the next round of the 2022 NHL playoffs.

Look for a strong performance by William “Wheeler” Nylander and great team defense.

Starting Lineups

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Michael Bunting — Auston Matthews — Mitch Marner

William Nylander — John Tavares — Ondrej Kase

Ilya Mikheyev — David Kampf — Alexander Kerfoot

Pierre Engvall — Colin Blackwell — Jason Spezza

Morgan Rielly — Ilya Lyubushkin

Mark Giordano — Justin Holl

Jake Muzzin — TJ Brodie

Jack Campbell

Erik Kallgren

Scratched: Wayne Simmonds, Timothy Liljegren, Nicholas Abruzzese, Kyle Clifford, Joey Anderson

Injured: Rasmus Sandin (knee), Petr Mrazek (groin)

Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat — Steven Stamkos — Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Brayden Point

Brandon Hagel — Ross Colton — Nicholas Paul

Pat Maroon — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Corey Perry

Victor Hedman — Erik Cernak

Ryan McDonagh — Zach Bogosian

Mikhail Sergachev — Cal Foote

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Riley Nash, Jan Rutta

Injured: None


Our beloved D-man Morgan Rielly and head coach Sheldon Keefe said it the best.

“I certainly feel like that is the case with our group. We’ve learned a lot. I think we’ve matured but until you start to get those results that prove that, it’s pretty difficult to have those open conversations with people who might control that narrative or might want to say that we haven’t,”

“They’re free to do so, but it’s on us to produce some results and prove that we’ve grown, matured and learned. I tend to believe that is the case, that we are making steps forward but until we get the results, that will be up in the air.”

The Maple Leafs defenseman spoke after the team returned to Toronto on Monday.

Sheldon Keefe Leafs Coach said:

“We’re not fazed by last night… We believe in our group.”


I’m sure some of the Leafs veterans took William Nylander aside, and said “no more freebies in the corners”.

It’s time for Nylander to up his game and go deep and often into the dirty areas of the ice.  He will find more success and respect when doing so.

Let Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner find the quiet areas of the ice and in doing so score.  It’s what they do best.

Team defense will be outstanding and the key to victory in tonight’s game.

Mark Giordano, a key addition to the Leafs core defense, laid it out like this;

“stick to our details throughout the game… it’s a great opportunity we have in front of us.”

Enough said! Yes it is, Giordano!!

I predict the Leafs will win by a score of 4 – 1.

Stay tune for a great game, enjoy!

Let’s go Leaf’s!

E. Sentry Sorgini reporting for GTA Weekly News.


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