Lightning vs. Maple Leafs: Who has the Advantage?

Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /


Advantage: Toronto

Toronto were big spenders deadline on defense as well. They added three defensemen in Luke Schenn, Jake McCabe and Erik Gustafsson. All of these pieces improve the depth on the Toronto blue-line immensely. They now have nine healthy defensemen they can chose from.

As for Tampa Bay, I would probably still say their top end defensemen are still better than Toronto’s but the Leafs win having the overall better group. Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev are probably a better one-two punch than any combination Toronto can roll out.

There is no doubt that losing Ryan McDonagh and Jan Rutta were huge losses this past summer for the Lightning. Their blue line contains some names that will be put to the test and thrown into the national spotlight for the first time. Nick Perbix and Darren Raddysh will be tasked with playing their first Stanley Cup Playoff games on a Lightning blue-line that has struggled greatly at times this season.