Maple Leafs William Nylander coasting through the neutral zone
Photo credit: https://twitter.com/SamAMcKee

Maple Leafs Nylander lazy play causes turnover leading to goal

Published April 18, 2024 at 2:49 PM

Understandably, when a team reaches game eighty-two and they anticipate they will be participating in a long, gruelling playoff, their may be a moment where players step off the gas a little and coast. However, if they make it blatantly obvious when they are down, even if the game doesn't matter, that can be looked at as a major problem.

During the Toronto Maple Leafs last regular season game against the Tampa Bay Lightning before they open up their first round series against the Boston Bruins, video has surfaced of William Nylander coasting through the neutral zone while trying to take a pass with his stick in the air. For his efforts—or a serious lack thereof—the Leafs turned over the puck, allowing the Lightning to take the puck the length of the ice and score on a helpless Martin Jones.

Nylander has been rather consistent all season and was the only Maple Leaf to play all 82 games, and while he has definitely played to his potential and earned every cent, the team has committed to him by contributing just shy of 100 points. Once the puck drops at TD Garden on Saturday, he will have to switch to a different gear and keep the pedal down for an indeterminate amount of time (whether the team loses in the first round or raises the Stanley Cup).

Unfortunately, to this point, it appears the Maple Leafs haven't learned that in order to be successful in the playoffs, it requires a different level all around. With a new mindset and a higher level of play, it will be interesting to see if they have the recipe for success this time around.

With the offseason moves they made and the tinkering at the deadline, they have shown flashes that they can do it, but will it be enough? Only time will tell.
April 18   |   196 answers
Maple Leafs Nylander lazy play causes turnover leading to goal

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