3 X-factors for the Maple Leafs heading into their second round matchup against the Panthers

Well, they actually did it. The Toronto Maple Leafs actually did the thing.
As we all know by now, the Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals to advance to the second round for the first time in 19 – yes – 19 years!
As Chris Cuthbert said during the game-winning goal scored by John Tavares in overtime, they finally caught lightning in a bottle and broke the 19-year curse. What a brilliant call by Cuthbert.
Now, with the first round finished, it’s time to go through three other x-factors for the Maple Leafs as they begin their second-round series against the Florida Panthers tonight.
1. Special Teams
Special teams are such an easy choice in any series, but given how both of these teams’ special teams performed in their first-round matchups, Toronto could benefit from this if they get things going on both units.
For their first-round series against Tampa Bay, I said Toronto’s penalty kill could be an x-factor for them and although their penalty kill wasn’t lockdown like it was against the Lightning in the regular season, they still limited Tampa Bay to just five power-play goals in 21 attempts (76.1% PK) with four of them coming in game one alone when the Lightning wen …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

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