“We just weren’t ready” – Jake Muzzin

TAMPA | The Maple Leafs players looked dejected as they appeared in their reserved room to give their impressions to the journalists in attendance at the Amalie Arena.

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Of course, they were aware that they had just missed a chance to come home with an opportunity to eliminate the Lightning. An opportunity that hasn’t come up often in the past two years against the current two-time Stanley Cup champions.

“It’s disappointing. We’ve worked hard to put ourselves in this advantageous position, Jake Muzzin acknowledged. We knew they would come out strong. We just weren’t ready. »

“Our execution was missed. For our part, we were on his heels all evening, analyzed John Tavares. We played better in the third period. We wanted to offer a better performance but also prepare for the next game. »

Campbell blames himself

Clearly, the Leafs are far from in trouble. Sheldon Keefe insisted on that when he spoke.

“We came here with the aim of splitting the two games. Back then it was a three out of five with two home games. It’s now a two-out-of-three with two games left at home,” said the Maple Leafs coach.

“We can speak of a fruitful journey,” he added, a philosopher in his spare time.

To keep the situation from turning against him and his teammates, Jack Campbell must avoid letting this poor performance demoralize him. It’s imperative that he gets back on his feet quickly.

“I have to look in the mirror, figure out what went wrong and be ready to do great things in the next game,” said the goalkeeper.

“I have to stop pucks,” he later clarified.

Tavares in two stages

Also, if there’s a lot of talk about Tavares’ defensive outfit (Jon Cooper said he was a real wreck in the faceoff circle), the lack of contribution in attack will inevitably come back to the carpet the affront live, in the first round to be shown the exit.

The 31-year-old veteran is aware of this.

“I haven’t been able to produce offensively as I would like,” he agreed. Of course I would like to contribute more. On the other hand, I want to play well without the puck, do my job and excel in execution. »

He was imperial in the faceoff circle in four games (39 of 55, 70.9%). But he collected only two assists.

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