Win it for JT

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It still feels weird getting ready for a game. I think I can speak for a lot of Leafs Nation when I say that it feels like there’s stuff much bigger than the game going on. Tavares’ injury made me lose all interest in game 1, and for the most part, that’s carried into the second game.

But, Tavares is out of the hospital, and has been cleared of all structural damage to his head, neck, and spine. It’s still a concussion and a knee injury for him, and he’s still probably not going to play in the playoffs, but Tavares is for the most part okay, although I can only imagine how scary that must have been for him.

However, the games must go on. The Leafs find themselves down 1-0 in the series, even though it’s not a loss you can fault them on. But, there are lots of things to go off of in this game. They ended up being the better team as far as driving play and generating scoring chances, although they didn’t generate as many chances as they usually do. And at the end of the day, it was only a 2-1 loss. The Leafs were playing a game, likely shocked and traumatized, and they still almost won.

And now they know that their captain is okay. Now they know they can focus on the game. Now they already have something to win this for.

It’s time to win this game, this series, this Stanley Cup, for John Tavares.

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.6#33 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.3#6 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 76.6#18 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.83#6 FL1
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

Rating: 70.8#115 LW

Nick Foligno
NICK FOLIGNO

Rating: 72.5#61 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.1#23 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.14#16 FL2
Pierre Engvall
PIERRE ENGVALL

Rating: 71.0#98 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 70.8#113 C

Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.0#42 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.95#17 FL3
Joe Thornton
JOE THORNTON

Rating: 72.3#74 LW

Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 69.4#126 C

Wayne Simmonds
WAYNE SIMMONDS

Rating: 70.2#112 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.64#19 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. Brodie
T.J. BRODIE

Rating: 74.2#27 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.76#17 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.1#17 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.0#61 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#13 DL2
Rasmus Sandin
RASMUS SANDIN

Rating: 72.3#69 LD

Zach Bogosian
ZACH BOGOSIAN

Rating: 71.4#76 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.87#15 DL3

Montreal Canadiens

LW C RW Forwards
Tomas Tatar
TOMAS TATAR

Rating: 77.7#10 LW

Phillip Danault
PHILLIP DANAULT

Rating: 75.5#29 C

Brendan Gallagher
BRENDAN GALLAGHER

Rating: 78.3#7 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.20#11 FL1
Tyler Toffoli
TYLER TOFFOLI

Rating: 75.9#25 LW

Nick Suzuki
NICK SUZUKI
Joel Armia
JOEL ARMIA

Rating: 73.1#54 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.49#9 FL2
Corey Perry
COREY PERRY

Rating: 70.8#101 LW

Eric Staal
ERIC STAAL

Rating: 74.2#45 C

Josh Anderson
JOSH ANDERSON

Rating: 73.4#42 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.81#9 FL3
Paul Byron
PAUL BYRON

Rating: 71.8#78 LW

Jesperi Kotkaniemi
JESPERI KOTKANIEMI
Artturi Lehkonen
ARTTURI LEHKONEN

Rating: 71.7#81 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.37#10 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Joel Edmundson
JOEL EDMUNDSON

Rating: 73.8#39 LD

Jeff Petry
JEFF PETRY

Rating: 76.7#13 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 75.23#12 DL1
Brett Kulak
BRETT KULAK

Rating: 73.4#46 LD

Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT

Rating: 73.8#38 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.62#11 DL2
Jon Merrill
JON MERRILL

Rating: 72.6#54 LD

Shea Weber
SHEA WEBER

Rating: 76.5#15 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 74.55#1 DL3

For Toronto, Galchenyuk slots in for Tavares, with Foligno taking over his role as the second line center between Gally and Nylander. Engvall also joins the lineup over Nash, who seemed a bit out of place in Game 1.

For Montreal, Kotkaniemi replaces the injured Jake Evans, which might be a problem for the Leafs, but Kotkaniemi has been pretty inconsistent throughout his career so far, so it shouldn’t be a difference maker.

Leafs Starting Goalie: Jack Campbell

As far as first playoff games go, Jack Campbell had a pretty good one. Obviously he’d want the win, but he was otherwise solid, and you can’t entirely fault him on either goal. Well, he might have been better prepared for the first one if he didn’t leave the net to move a stick (which overall was a problem in the game), but he didn’t cost the team the game, that’s for sure.

Habs Starting Goalie: Carey Price

Price put on a vintage Price performance in Game 1, and that’s definitely reason to cause fear and panic in Leafs Nation. However, it’s one thing to have one good game, it’s another to do that for an entire series. Price isn’t the difference maker he used to be, but sometimes he elevates his game on the bigger stage. Whatever confidence he got in Game 1, the Leafs need to destroy in Game 2.

Game 2 comes your way on Sportsnet and CBC at 7pm EST!