Toronto native vocal about wanting to beat the Leafs tonight in Florida

Published April 5, 2022 at 1:25 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
The Toronto Maple Leafs are coming off of a massive 6-2 blowout road win against a tough Atlantic Division rival in the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night and they'll follow that up with an equally tall task ahead in a Tuesday night matchup with the Eastern Conference leading Florida Panthers.

The Leafs have been playing fantastic hockey of late, winners of their last 5 straight against the likes of the Panthers, Bruins, Jets, Flyers and Lightning. The Florida Panthers and one player in particular are looking to playing the spoiler and halting the Leafs' win streak at 5.

Carter Verhaeghe knows a thing or two about the Leafs, being a Toronto native, but also being a former Maple Leafs draftee (3rd round, 82nd overall in 2013). Verhaeghe never actually played a game for the Leafs, being traded back in 2015 to the New York Islanders in the deal that brought forward Michael Grabner to Toronto.

Since that time, Verhaeghe won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning and signed with the Florida Panthers as a free agent shortly thereafter. Now in his second season with the Panthers, Verhaeghe loves nothing more than beating the Buds.


"It's always fun playing these guys. I'm from around there. All my buddies watch the Toronto games. They're Leafs fans. It would be nothing better than to beat them."

- Verhaeghe on tonight's matchup with the Leafs

The 26-year-old forward is enjoying a breakout season with the Panthers, having registered a career-high 21 goals and 51 points in 68 games this season.

While Verhaeghe has his sights set on evening the season series with the Leafs at 1 apiece, the Panthers will have their hands full in trying to neutralize the Leafs very potent top line. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner have been the two hottest players in hockey since the calendar switched over to 2022 and are both on pace to surpass 100 points on the season.

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