May 06 2013 01:08PM
Hope! Change! Freedom! I didn't think it was unlikely that the Toronto Maple Leafs would win a game in this series, but I thought it was unlikely that the Toronto Maple Leafs would win a game where they didn't have to bank on the play of James Reimer to pull out on top.
Game 2, that's exactly what they did. They significantly out-chanced Boston (with the caveat: if you exclude second-chance rebound opportunities, which are sporadic and random and rare, Boston held a slim 11-10 advantage at even strength, 10-10 at five-on-five) and came close to out-shooting the Bruins at the 40-minute mark.
At the start of the third, they exploited a matchup quirk, got a big goal from Phil Kessel, and their defensive line bent on shutting down the opposition's top offensive line got themselves a big goal late in the contest.
All in all, strong effort, and the right guys got rewarded. What changes in Game 2?
May 06 2013 02:35AM
After the Leafs’ Game 2 victory over the Boston Bruins, a video began to make the rounds of a Leafs fan lying unconscious in the TD Garden. Witnesses said he had been assaulted by an angry Bruins fan (who ran off and has not been found), and taken to hospital. The video now has well over 45,000 views.
As more information came out, the victim’s identity became public. His name is Kyle Hay, and it turns out that he is a friend of a friend of mine, Bryan Barton. Byran happened to be there with him, as well. I got in contact with both of them late Sunday night. Many people have been asking about the exact details of the incident, so here’s what they had to say.
May 06 2013 02:31AM
A few scattered thoughts... my brain is cluttered this week.
No. 1 - Matching up
Read some analysis on how effective Colton Orr was at being a "constant pain" for Zdeno Chara, battling with him in front of the net and knocking him down twice. Not sure I buy that. Chara had a fantastic Game 2, as noted by James Mirtle in his column about the matchups. (Mine can be found here)
May 05 2013 01:41PM
The Bruins are human! The Leafs use their speed in Game 2, tying the series up 1-1!
May 05 2013 12:00PM
Suffice to say, a major difference between regular season games and playoff games is that coaches stick more to matches in the playoffs. Phil Kessel played less than two minutes in the first game against defencemen other than Zdeno Chara, and if you consult the graph after the jump, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Huge difference between Chara v. Kessel in Game 1 of the series and Chara v. Kessel in the two regular season games.
In Game 2 however, Randy Carlyle worked his bench to maximize the number of shifts Kessel could play away from Chara, and Kessel scored his first five-on-five goal ever against the Bruins on one of them.
Coincidence? Probably, but that was one of the bigger Leafs goals in the last decade.