The playoffs are finally here.
After a few days with no games, the highly-anticipated series between the Maple Leafs and Lightning begins tonight.
This series is the most-anticipated of all the playoff matchups in the NHL right now and it’ll likely deliver as being one of the best (maybe) seven games that we’ve had in recent memory.
You’ve got players like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander on one side. And on the other there’s Steve Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and Victor Hedman.
It’s a head-to-head that’s likely going to be either a chess match or a firework show.
“It’s about time we met in the playoffs.” Said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper after their final practice ahead of Monday’s game.
Ondrej Kase will return to the Maple Leafs lineup for game one of the playoffs. It will be his first game back since suffering a concussion on March 19th.
#Leafs lines during practice May 1/22
Kerfoot-Matthews-Marner Mikheyev-Tavares-KaseNylander-Kampf-EngvallClifford-Blackwell-SimmondsExtra: Bunting, Spezza https://t.co/C3li6dSGwx
— David Alter (@dalter) May 1, 2022
Michael Bunting will not return to the lineup for the first game of the series. He’s out with an undisclosed injury, but has been taking part in full practices with the Maple Leafs.
Another player that’s out will be Jason Spezza. He’ll be one of Toronto’s scratches for game one against the Lightning. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe discussed the difficult conversation he had with Spezza after Monday’s morning skate.
Sheldon Keefe, on the decision to scratch Jason Spezza for Game 1. pic.twitter.com/UO0ZwVjozL
— David Alter (@dalter) May 2, 2022
Another player looking for a cup late in his career is Wayne Simmonds and he had some words on Toronto’s cup drought before Monday’s game.
Simmonds on Toronto Cup drought: “I th …
Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation