Lightning “Not Championship Caliber” Says Leafs’ Matthews

Okay, but let’s see you win it a third time in a row.

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On the eve of their opening-round series in the NHL playoffs, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews took a shot at his team’s opponents, the Tampa Bay Lightning, saying that the Florida team were not truly championship-level opposition. Although Matthews acknowledged that the Lightning had some talent, noting players like Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy, all two-time Stanley Cup champions, Matthews was unimpressed and said he didn’t feel like the Lightning pose a real threat, and said that Tampa Bay had not faced the same level of opposition as Matthews and his Maple Leafs teammates.

“Sure, they’ve got some skills,” Matthews said, “but they don’t even have a single playoff win this whole season. Plus, we all know they took the easy way out by faking that injury.”

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