Panthers will make Maple Leafs pay for complacency
After winning a playoff series for the first time in almost 20 years, the Toronto Maple Leafs must not underestimate the Florida Panthers, who knocked off the Presidents Trophy winning Boston Bruins in the first round.
- Finally-- and this is the most important thing. And I'm not just saying this to the team. I'm also saying this to the fans, the organization, Kyle Dubas, Jason Spezza, Brandon Pridham, Brendan Shanahan, whoever is listening. Do not underestimate this Florida Panthers team. That's what Boston did. They did, honestly. Everyone and their brackets-- brackets are destroyed around the world right now, because everyone wrote Boston in four, Boston in five. I even saw Boston in three jokes.
And Florida definitely heard it. And they made that their superpower. They leaned into that. They knew that no one believed in them. They knew that everyone thought they were going to lose. And they went into those games, despite the fact that they were down 3-1. And they pushed, and they fought back, and they won the game.
Do not underestimate this team. The Leafs cannot afford to do that. They got over the hump. They got over the mental hurdle of getting out of the first round. But if they go into this series thinking that it's easy? I mean, we've watched this team. We've seen what happens when they go into a game, and they think it's going to be easy. Remember the games against Montreal, or the games against Arizona, or the games against Columbus.
Those games against teams who are out of a playoff spot that the Leafs should win, and they don't? Yes. If that was the regular season, and this is the playoffs. But that mentality of we have this in the bag, we're the favorites. I don't know if you've seen. The Leafs are now the favorite to win the Stanley Cup, to win it. They're the favorite in this series. They're the favorite to win the championship.
So yeah, they don't have the pressure. But again, the spotlight is on them. And that's just going to piss Florida off and make them kick it to a higher gear than they're already at right now. So, they need to respect this team, and they need to ensure that they're not taking it easy, that they are literally approaching this game as if it was Boston. That's the mentality you have to have. Yes, it's a different logo, different player personnel. But go into this series thinking that it's Boston. Because if they don't, Florida will make them pay for it.