The Toronto Maple Leafs will have a chance to gain some ground on their Atlantic Division foes this week. They will face the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Montreal Canadiens.

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The Lightning will need to watch out for the speed of the Leafs’ rookies and try to keep them in check point-wise since they’ve been producing early this season. The Bolts will need to get pucks to the net especially if Frederik Andersen is in goal; he has given up a few “soft” goals this year. Tampa Bay will need to establish a forecheck to force the Leafs players into turning the puck over to get more scoring chances while in the offensive zone. If the Bolts can keep the duo of Auston Matthews and William Nylander off the board, as well as watch out for the defense since they like to jump into the play offensively, then they have a good shot at winning the game on Tuesday night.

Toronto will play host to the Lightning so they need to get the first goal to keep the home crowd in the game early on. If they get that lead then they will need to be careful with the puck and limit mistakes since the Leafs have already blown a few leads. The Tampa Bay defensemen like to jump in on the play so the Leafs will have to keep an eye out for that when defending their own zone. If Toronto can play a complete game for 60 minutes like in their home opener then they have a decent shot to win this game.

On Thursday night, the Panthers will visit Toronto for the first time this year. The Panthers need to keep the penalties to a minimum since the Maple Leafs have a decent power play. Florida will also need to get their own power play going since it’s been a struggle for them to score goals with the man advantage. The Panthers will need to be the better team at even strength if they can’t manage anything while on the power play. They will have to keep the kids off the board and make the veteran players take the lead.

The Leafs will need to get the first goal since the Panthers are a good team when playing with the lead. Toronto should utilize their speed to draw penalties since the power play has been good for them. The Maple Leafs need to keep an eye on Jonathan Marchessault whenever he is on the ice since he is the leading scorer for the Panthers, and is off to a hot start. The veteran players need to step up their game and help out the kids especially on the defensive side of the puck if the Leafs want to win this game.

The Habs have gotten off to another hot start this year, and they aren’t afraid to throw their weight around. The Canadiens also have some speed but they’ll need to be patient with the puck since Toronto likes to block shots. Montreal needs to get in on the forecheck and create turnovers to get some scoring chances, and ultimately goals. If the Habs can win the special teams battle then they should win the game.

The Maple Leafs will need to keep the puck away from Shea Weber especially while the Habs are on the power play since he has a heck of a shot from the point. Toronto will need to play physical and try to force turnovers to play in the Canadiens end of the ice. The Leafs have a ton of speed but they’ll need their big players like James Van Riemsdyk to get in front of the net to screen Carey Price to get some goals. If Carey Price can see it then he will most likely make the save and cover up the puck.

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