The most important lesson the Leafs can learn from the Panthers this summer

Nick Matthews
June 15, 2024  (3:30 PM)

Sergei Bobrovsky
Photo credit: The New York Times

Sergei Bobrovsky and his stellar play are proving the importance of goaltending in the Stanley Cup Finals, and the Leafs would be wise to learn that lesson this summer.

The Florida Panthers are one win away from capturing their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The Panthers are currently up 3-0 against the Edmonton Oilers. A clear difference between these 2 clubs, is the goaltending.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been sensational during these playoffs, and is the clear front runner to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (Stanley Cup Finals MVP). Bobrovsky is currently 3-0 during the SCF sporting a 0.953 SVV and a GAA of 1.33. The Russian goalie's strong play is a clear indicator of how important goaltending is to be successful in the playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have quite a few things to learn from the Florida Panthers, but the lesson at the top of the list has to be the goaltending.
The Leafs sported an underwhelming duo of Joseph Woll and Ilya Samsonov last season. There were times where the goaltending was stellar, but also times where it completely disappeared. Bobrovsky, like all goaltenders, has also dealt with his own adversity during the season. However, Bobrovsky is a clear-cut number one that has proven it many times in his career. The Panthers netminder also has a high price-tag, something the Leafs haven't explored in a very long time.
Bobrovsky is currently the 2nd highest paid goaltender in the NHL, as he gets paid 10M per season. Many have criticized teams for shelling out big contracts to goaltenders in the past, but it's worked out pretty well for Bobrovsky and fellow countryman Andrei Vasilevskiy in recent years.
It's time the Leafs learn from the success of the teams around them, and finally pay up for an elite goaltender, as it seems to be an indicator of success in the playoffs, which is where they need the most help.
Source for Bobrovsky's stats: NHL.com
Sergei Bobrovsky Career Stats
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The most important lesson the Leafs can learn from the Panthers this summer

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