Why we’re still hopelessly optimistic about the Maple Leafs following Game 1

What a difference a round makes. After the 7-3 loss in Game 1 of the first round, many people were already making plans for May away from hockey and the talk was that we might have seen the last of Michael Bunting in a Leafs jersey. That ended up working out, and so help me, I don’t think the 4-2 loss to the Panthers require a forensic audit either.
The biggest difference in Game 1 was goaltending. Like against Tampa, Samsonov didn’t have his best outing to start the series. That’s fine. The guy is allowed the occasional off night, even in the playoffs. The catch was that as much as the Leafs forwards pushed late in the game, Sergei Bobrovsky was busy being the guy who earned the $10M AAV contract, not the guy who has been cashing the cheques for the past few seasons. Given that he is now on his first four game win streak of the season it can play out in one of two ways, he continues on a goaltending heater that leads to the Panthers …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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