Home-ice advantage has been returned to the Toronto Maple Leafs by the Tampa Bay Lightning; or, more appropriately, the Maple Leafs wrestled it away. In this game, the Maple Leafs went into Florida and their big guns were (mostly) silent.
However, they got goals from one defenseman and some depth players and took the win. The team’s third line of David Kampf, Ilya Mikheyev, and Pierre Engvall delivered the game to the team.
The Maple Leafs went up 3-0 and then had to hold on, which was tough to do. The Lightning threw everything they had at the Maple Leafs, who bent but didn’t break.
In this edition of Maple Leafs’ takeaways, I’ll look at the events of the game from the Maple Leafs’ perspective. It was as exciting a game as one can stand if you’re a Maple Leafs’ fan.
Takeaway One: Jack Campbell Held His Team in the Game
Jack Campbell was solid tonight and made important saves just when his team needed them. The result was the win. In total, Campbell saved all but two of the 34 shots he faced on the night; and, the Lightning didn’t give up. They kept on pushing.
As a fan, you could tell the push was coming; and, by the early part of the third period, the Lightning was back within a single goal. They kept coming; but, Campbell kept stopping. He was clearly the game’s first star.
When it was all said and done, the Maple Leafs had jumped out to a 2-1 series lead and looked good doing so. Campbell seemed calm and determined both at the same time. At the end of the game, his goals-against-average was 2.37, and his save percentage was a solid .924.
He’s been good, and his team now has a 2-1 series lead.
Takeaway Two: Ilya Mikheyev and Pierre Engvall Are Friends and Partners
I’m not sure that I liked what Pierre Engvall did when he gave his playing partner Ilya Mikheyev a freebie when the net was empty and the team was trying to keep the Lightning from striking. At the same time, I loved the selfless gesture to give his friend and teammate the goal when the two of them broke in on the empty net and scored on a Lightning turnover.
My first thought was – What if Mikheyev wasn’t ready? What if the ice is bad and the puck jumps over the stick?
It didn’t, and my second thought as Engvall passed to his partner was that these guys must like (and appreciate) each other. It was a class act that might suggest the team’s unity.
Mikheyev scored two into empty nets in short order and Engvall assisted on both. In fact, Engvall had three assists on the night. Perhaps even better was the fact that the third line of Kampf, Engvall, and Mikheyev is an amazingly strong line. In fact, the lineup the Maple Leafs threw out there tonight was as good a lineup as I recall the team being able to ice in years.
Takeaway Three: David Kampf’s One-Goal Season in 2020-21 Was an Aberration
You’d likely never call David Kampf a scoring machine; however, he does have offensive talent and he CAN score. Kampf scored his second goal of the three playoff games and it was a beauty. Using his speed, he jumped on a loose puck, skated in on Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, and promptly wired one over his right shoulder. By the way, he also deftly shot the puck through defenseman Zach Bogosian’s legs.
That goal was the eventual game-winner. Vasilevskiy was screened perfectly by his own player and had no chance to react. Kampf now has scored two goals in three games this postseason.
How did he ever go through a season with the Chicago Blackhawks where he scored only one goal? That’s not the player we’ve been seeing this season.
What an addition to the team.
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