In the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon found himself in a unique situation: facing off against his best friend and former teammate, Ryan O’Reilly, now a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. In a recent interview, Maroon opened up about his feelings regarding this bittersweet reunion on the ice.
“I’m not happy the Leafs got him, but I’m happy he gets the opportunity to play in his hometown,” Maroon said of O’Reilly’s move to Toronto. The two players were teammates on the St. Louis Blues during their 2018-2019 Stanley Cup-winning season. After their victory, Maroon moved on to join the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he earned back-to-back championships, while O’Reilly remained with the Blues until he was traded to the Maple Leafs this season.
There’s something special about getting to play against one of your closest friends on the biggest stage, but it will be a rough ending as one will send the other home at the end of the series.
Tampa Bay took Game 1 in Toronto, winning decisively with a 7-3 score. The matchup between Maroon and O’Reilly undoubtedly added a personal touch to an already intense playoff series. Both players have proven themselves as valuable assets to their respective teams, contributing to their success on and off the ice.
It will certainly be an intense series as game 1 was, with the Leafs trying to break their first round curse, and the Lightning trying to prove everyone wrong after a difficult run of games at the final stretch of the season.