Instead of his team steeling itself for the inevitable counterpunch of a team that is now 16-0 after a playoff loss the past two years, the Leafs delivered one of those maddening off nights that popped up in the regular season.
A chance to go up 3-1 in the series against the Lightning quickly morphed into a five-goal hole and a 7-3 loss Sunday at Amalie Arena. Jack Campbell, hero of Game 3, was finished after 16 shots, though the whole team looked like a palm tree fell on their bench right after the national anthems.
“They came out, scored on their first shot (Steven Stamkos) and took it to us,” Campbell said.
Coach Sheldon Keefe, who earlier Sunday said he was excited the Leafs could play even better than their series lead indicated after winning the first one here, was curt about trying to pass it off as “a successful road trip” given they did win a close one Friday.