Through five games of their first-round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Maple Leafs have proven that, when in the mood, they can compete with the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. Will Toronto fans see the team that took it to Tampa in periods two and three in Game 5 or the team that barely showed up in Game 4?
TICTACTOMAR: Unreal. It's unreal that they were able to do this. Like, again there were so many times-- so many times this season where we're just like, this team feels different. This team feels different. And I think that's why after game 4 I was so dejected because I truly believed this team was different. And that game that we saw in game 4 was more of what we've already seen .
And even the post-game quotes saying like, oh, we weren't ready. We didn't start on time and all that stuff. It's like, no, we've been there before. We've heard all that. Like, I'm tired of-- I'm tired of that. Like, I want to move on. And it's like, this team-- period two to three-- this team in periods two to three, that team is different.
And that is the team we need on Thursday for game 6. And it's not going to be easy. It's not going to be easy whatsoever. But again, the Leafs have proved all series long that they deserve to be here. They can compete. They can play against this Tampa team. They can do it. It's just a matter of will they? They can. Will they?