Saturday FTB: Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning first-round schedule released

The playoff matchups in the NHL have been set after a busy Friday night of games. The tampa bay lightning he needed to lose his game to the Islanders, and see the Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs to drop into a wild card position and play the Hurricanes.

Some polling on Friday morning indicated the Bolts were far more interested in playing across the Metro than the Atlantic, and who can blame them. The Bruins also seemed very interested in staying on Metro’s side, as they kept six regulars out of the lineup against the Leafs.

The Bruins’ wish came true, they lost to the Leafs 5-2, led by two goals from Willy Nylander, and they get to play the carolina hurricanes in the first round. The Lightning were also trailing for much of the night, until a five-goal third period and a Steven Stamkos hat-trick gave them the victory over the Islanders.

That Fate Sealed: Leafs vs. Lightning in the first round. The team that can’t win a round vs. the one that has won eight in the last two years.


It also sealed the schedule for the opening round, which was released last night. Here it is:

  1. Game 1: Lightning @ Maple Leafs on Monday, May 2 (Scotiabank Arena) 7:30 p.m.
  2. Game 2 – Lightning @ Maple Leafs on Wednesday, May 4 (Scotiabank Arena) 7:30 p.m.
  3. Game 3: Maple Leafs @ Lightning on Friday, May 6 (AMALIE Arena) 7:30 p.m.
  4. Game 4 – Maple Leafs @ Lightning on Sunday, May 8 (AMALIE Arena) 7 p.m.
  5. Game 5 – Lightning @ Maple Leafs on Tuesday, May 10 (Scotiabank Arena) *if necessary
  6. Game 6: Maple Leafs @ Lightning on Thursday, May 12 (AMALIE Arena) *if necessary
  7. Game 7: Lightning @ Maple Leafs on Saturday, May 14 (Scotiabank Arena) *if necessary

No back-to-backs, so the Leafs and Lightning will play every other day from Monday through next Saturday, if necessary. The Leafs have home-field advantage, so they get games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The Leafs haven’t been the home team in a playoff series (ignoring the pandemic) since 2004 when they beat Ottawa in seven games.

injuries and alignment

We’ll see on Sunday, when the Leafs have their last practice before the playoffs begin, what the official lineup will be to start Game 1.

Currently, Michael Bunting and Ondřej Kaše are still out, although Kaše has been skating in a red jersey this week. Sheldon Keefe has done nothing more than project William Nylander to start on the back row away from John Tavares. We’ll see if he rounds them up for the first round or sticks with what he’s been doing.

Rasmus Sandin, who did not play in the final game of the season, will likely sit out as the team’s eighth defender. Justin Holl or Jake Muzzin (depending on how you feel) will probably be the others. Muzzin was stepping up and hitting guys for the first time in a while last night against the Bruins, and he’s been putting up some pretty good numbers lately. There is a possibility that he has returned to some version of his former self after the injury-plagued season.

the first round

The official matchups for the first round in the East are as follows:

By conference, the matchups are 1v8, 2v6, 3v5 and 4v7. The Rangers get the best matchup thanks to the divisional setup. Leaves and hurricanes make it a little worse.

The West:

By conference, matchups are 1v8, 2v7, 3v4, 5v6. Minnesota and St. Louis should be upset with this result.

game times

We know the Leafs will start their playoffs on Monday and play every other day until they’re done. This is also true for all other series, which means that the opening hours are very regular. The Leafs will play the same night as Boston/Carolina, Minnesota/St. Louis and Edmonton/Los Angeles. The other four series start on Tuesday and play on those days off.

Most of the Leafs game will start at 7:30 p.m., while the Bruins series will be at 7 p.m., except for Sunday, May 8, which will have Boston as a matinee and the Leafs at 7 p.m. Hopefully the NHL could maximize this type of viewing throughout the season.

various leaves and branches

Leafs beat the Bruins to ensure they play the Stanley Cup champions in the first round | by: Katya

Maple Leafs sign Bobby McMann for 2 years | by: Katya

The Montreal Canadians (the 32nd team in the league) filled it with 10 goals on 37 shots last night! Is Florida sure they want to keep it RFA?

This was great and amazing.

Sea Sea superstar!

Updated to add:

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