Leafs won't beat Lightning unless John Tavares steps up

Maple Leafs captain John Tavares had another underwhelming performance in Toronto's Game 2 loss to Tampa Bay.

Video Transcript

- JT was not present for a second game. I know it was hard, because he does not PK, but still, even when on the ice, I never heard his name or saw him with the puck. Yeah, I agree 100%. I did not notice him at all again, save for that one that one power play opportunity that he had in the first period. He was also digging around for a loose puck, you know, when it was six on four. But besides for that, in five on five, I didn't notice them too much at all, and that can't happen, not for a second-line center on this team.

So I don't know, maybe he just had an off game, or he's having just a time trying to adjust to the enhanced pace, but we need more from the captain, absolutely. We're not going to win this series if Tavares doesn't step up. And, again, whether it's something that he needs to do individually, or maybe Sheldon Keefe with moving some players around. Maybe this is the time to reunite Nylander, Tavares, and that Kerfoot line. Maybe it's time.

Again, if you do commit to that third line of Mikheyev, Kampf, and Engvall, it could be a good opportunity to go back to Nylander, Tavares, and Kerfoot, or Nylander, Tavares, Kase, like, whatever. Something. Something needs to happen, but we need to get Tavares going, we need to. And I think the best way to do that, needs to get a goal. Whether it's a great one, a skilled one, or it's just a bunch of deflections, or one that just goes off of his leg, that's what we need to have.

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