Black and Bruined

Matt Stephen
March 19 2012 08:02PM


Editor's Note:  Photo courtesy of @MHCranberry 's interesting timeline. Apologies for the late note I forgot originally.

The odds were stacked against the Maple Leafs, having lost five of the six games in the season series. The Bruins had outscored them 28-10 before the puck dropped, but against all odds, they came out with two points against the reigning Stanley Cup champs pushing the winning streak to three.

April fools came early, sorry.

In reality, the game ended with the Bruins having swept the season series definitively, outscoring the Leafs 35-10 in sum. Reimer donned a baseball cap before he even had the chance to break a sweat, having let in four goals on nine shots, just 12 minutes into the game. Frustrations came to a boiling point early for the Leafs: they couldn’t beat the Bruins on the scoreboard and so tried to get it done in the ring, with Luke Schenn and Mike Komisarek getting into fisticuffs late in the first.

Uppercutting the opposition

No momentum was generated, with Komisarek taking beating from Milan Lucic’s frantic uppercuts and Schenn getting a draw at best with Gregory Campbell. By the end of the 1st the Bruins had four goals, three of which were scored by their 3rd and 4th liners.

Wait, wait, it gets better.

The game within the game became whether or not the Leafs could get more shots on net than the Bruins have goals. Midway through the second period the Leafs had six shots, the Bruins six goals. At 15:59 in the second Carl Gunnarsson pulled ahead with the Leafs seventh shot of the night, but to make things exciting for Leafs fans the Bruins scored their seventh goal going into the third period. At the other end of the rink Jonas Gustavsson had allowed two goals on just eight shots, more shots in that period than the Leafs had tallied all game. The Bruins had as many goals tonight as they’ve had in their last four games.

Now this might hurt a bit.

The Bruins came into the third with a strategy of mercy and conservatism, holding back as much as possible. They protected the puck and killed the clock more blatantly as the game went on. On the bright side, John Michael-Liles put the Leafs’ eighth shot on net, netting the Buds one more shot than the Bruins had goals… until Seguin tapped in Boston’s eighth in 23 shots. Yes, that Seguin. With a late push, the Leafs won 12-8 in the shots-vs.-goals version of the game, but the Bruins won 8-0. Many Leafs fans thought they had made their peace with another lost season before tonight, but the team found a way to make it hurt anyway.

To sum it up

 

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Matt Stephen is a long-suffering Leafs fan writing from the belly of the beast. He's a graduate of the Professional Writing program at York University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattyStephen or at a safe distance on any of Toronto's streets or alleyways.
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#1 kidkawartha
March 19 2012, 08:08PM
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Hate to say it, Matt, but 28+8=36. Now go have another beer.

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#3 La
March 19 2012, 08:22PM
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Who took the picture of the guys with the bags over their heads?

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#4 Pension Plan Puppets
March 19 2012, 08:26PM
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@La

@MHCranberry. Forgot to credit it. It's there now.

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#5 La
March 19 2012, 08:28PM
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Thanks. I was wondering if it was like from the newspaper or something. I wonder if they they stayed the whole game like that.

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#6 A. Bates
March 19 2012, 08:32PM
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Thankfully the TD Garden was handing them out after the 2nd GA tonight.

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#7 Pension Plan Puppets
March 19 2012, 08:47PM
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@La

From Twitter it sounds like they were pretty popular so I would guess yes. Plus, in Boston it's probably safer to do that.

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#8 Danny Gray
March 20 2012, 06:39AM
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A belated welcome aboard. It takes brains, no, guts, no, lots of whiskey, no...well something, to want to blog about this team right now.

Good grief.

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#9 enraged fan
March 20 2012, 07:10AM
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Every time I watch them get pummelled by the Bruins, the rage is overwhelming. Seguin is a better player than Kessel right now, and they haven't even added the big, smooth skating, hard shooting, right handed Hamilton. If you think about it, Burke handed the Bruins two cornerstones. Imagine Hamilton mentoring under Chara. Brian Burke rebuilt the wrong team!

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#10 A. Bates
March 20 2012, 07:24AM
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Seguin is not better then Kessel right now. You think this because Seguin is on the good end of a beat down every time you see him play (assuming you're a Leaf fan). Seguin is very likely to become a good player, but who knows about Hamilton, you've seen him play in what? One World Junior event?

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#11 enraged fan
March 20 2012, 07:39AM
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i wonder what the response would be if you polled gm's around the league and asked them who the would rather have on their team right now. kessel or seguin?

9th overall listed at 6'4 193 at 18 yrs. 50 17 55 72 +37

yep, seems like a long shot.

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#12 Danny Gray
March 20 2012, 08:59AM
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@enraged fan

52 NHL players have had 4 or more 30 goal seasons by the age of 24. only SEVEN (7) of them were traded during that 4 year stretch.

Interestingly enough 3 of those 7 were traded to the Leafs: Kessel, Sundin, and Paul Gardner. The rest are Dan Quinn, Mark Recchi, Jimmy Carson, and Pierre Turgeon. People need to face it, Kessel is an elite goal scorer, those players are very rarely traded at that age. Giving a GM the choice between Kessel and Seguin is stupid because that was not the trade that was agreed upon.

* Ed Olczyk also put up 4 30 goal seasons before the age of 24, but he was traded before those years, not during. Oh yeah, he was traded to the Leafs.

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#13 enraged fan
March 20 2012, 09:24AM
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@Danny Gray

i am having trouble figuring out what your point is. i didn't say kessel wasn't an elite scorer. i just think that is all he brings to the table. i believe you build team around seguin, i think kessel compliments a guy you build around. i have a sneaking suspicion that in the playoffs, if the leafs ever make the playoffs, kessel is a guy who would disappear fast. kind of soft like the sedins.....

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#14 Danny Gray
March 20 2012, 09:44AM
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@enraged fan

My general point was that it's rare for players of Kessel's caliber to be traded, so the price is bound to be high. But specifically, "Giving a GM the choice between Kessel and Seguin is stupid because that was not the trade that was agreed upon."

It's like asking any GM but Ken Holland if they'd rather have Datsyuk than the schlub they drafted before him. It's doesn't really prove anything.

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#15 enraged fan
March 20 2012, 10:07AM
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@Danny Gray

If one was attempting to determine who was a more desirable player to have on their team, i would suggest that polling the general managers would be a solid method.

simple question gm's "who would you rather have on your team today, tyler seguin or phil kessel?"

I think at that point, your 30 answers would give you a pretty good idea who the consensus better player is.

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#16 Danny Gray
March 20 2012, 12:06PM
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@enraged fan

Even then it's still pretty meaningless. What does it really tell you? It wasn't as though Burke chose Kessel over Seguin or something. I understand being frustrated with the end result, but endlessly comparing the two doesn't really amount to anything. If you want to criticize Burke complain that he gave Toskala too many chances, or failed to replace him early enough to prevent the Leafs from finishing dead last.

Comparing Kessel and Seguin is dumb and people should stop doing it.

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#17 enraged fan
March 20 2012, 01:30PM
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@Danny Gray

if you ever find yourself discussing this topic again, just stick to your last line about comparing kessel and seguin being dumb because the rest of your argument makes zero sense.

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#18 Danny Gray
March 20 2012, 02:07PM
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@enraged fan

Yes, your argument of Seguin is better because the Bruins beat the Leafs was much superior.

It wasn't so much of an argument as it was providing some context to the Kessel trade. That context being Kessel has elite goal scoring numbers given his age, and that players with similar numbers are rarely traded.

I also don't understand why people seem to think the opinion of GMs is the most important barometer of a player's value.

How many GMs wanted Martin St. Louis on their team? How many would have wanted Patrick Stefan when he was drafted?

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#19 Leafs Crazy
March 21 2012, 06:24PM
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@ Danny Gray

Here is the problem with your argument. Had the Oilers' been successful in landing Thomas Vanek from Buffalo via that RFA offer sheet, they would have sacrifced Eberle, Paajarvi and Hall. Can a GM just shrug his shoulders at that point and say "I didn't know we were going to miss out on drafting some good players...", waiving himself of any fault? No. When a GM trades a draft pick, he is trading away the possibility of landing an NHL talent. All too often, draft picks turn out to be nothing, and the GM looks great for improving his team without giving up anything. When however he trades a first, and it is a #2 overall, and you lose the trade, you should face the consequences. It was a "win now" strategy that backfired. He would have looked like a genius had it not, and arrogantly accepted the glory. He needs to face the repercussions of his actions.

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