After a poor start in Game 4, the Maple Leafs need better from everyone, including John Tavares

TAMPA, Fla. — John Tavares is well aware that his offensive play hasn’t been up to par.
And although some production from the captain probably wouldn’t have been enough to stave off the onslaught put forth by the Tampa Bay Lighting on Sunday, the embarrassing 7-3 loss has put the spotlight on the team’s leader as the first-round, best-of-seven playoff series has suddenly become a best-of-three.
“Obviously I’d like to create more and generate more,” Tavares said. “You just got to continue to keep working and competing and understand the responsibility you have by playing against the guys you are playing.”
Tavares’ play at even strength has been a source of much scrutiny throughout the regular season. Through 79 games, he finished sixth in team scoring with 39 even-strength points (15 goals, 24 assists). And while that isn’t nothing, it’s not what they’ve come to expect from the player they signed back in 2018 to a seven-year, $77 million contract on Jul. 1, 2018.
But he’s had the chance to redeem himself in the playoffs. While he’s been great in winning face-offs (71 per cent) and has some progress from a defensive standpoint, his inability to generate much offence through four games against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champ …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

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