Maple Leafs Game 5 Comeback Sparked by Intermission Speech

When Jason 'Vintage' Spezza talks, the Toronto Maple Leafs listen. The veteran forward played a huge part in the Leafs Game 5 comeback victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning and it had nothing to do with the score sheet.

After the team went down 2-0, Spezza came off the bench during a tv timeout and met with goaltender Jack Campbell. You could see the intent was to calm Campbell's nerves done and reiterate they were going to be OK, and obviously whatever 'Vintage' said, 'Soup' took it to heart.

William Nylander spoke with David Alter of The Leafs Nation after the victory and confirmed Spezza gave a speech during the first intermission that helped fuel the comeback:

He's a great leader, and he's been around, and he knows what it takes, and when he speaks, we listen. Just that it wasn't good enough, and we have to start battling in this game. That was the gist of the message. We got our legs going in the second.

Maple Leafs captain John Tavares also commented that Spezza spoke well and got the group on the same page to understand they needed zone in as the margin for error was getting smaller and smaller with each period passing during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not bad for someone who was scratched for the first two games of the series in favor of Kyle Clifford and Wayne Simmonds. Give Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe some credit for totally changing the look of his lineup throughout the series. 

Game 6 goes Thursday night as Spezza and the Maple Leafs look to do something they haven't done in 18 a first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series.

Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports