May 06 2013 08:53PM
Photo via Graig Abel/NHL Interactive
Not many ways to polish this one. A 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 and the Leafs fall behind two games to one in the series.
It's hard to see exactly what went wrong, though. Phil Kessel got his fair share of time away from Zdeno Chara as Toronto had an easier time controlling the individual matchups. Jake Gardiner was skating really strong and got some offence going. The Leafs shut down the Bruins top line of Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, holding them to two shots apiece and a single scoring chance between them.
Can't have been special teams. Even after allowing a disheartening shorthanded goal to Daniel Paille, the Leafs were +1 in special teams, going two-for-six on their own powerplay, in addition to out-shooting Boston 11-1 at 4-on-4. There were a lot of individual efforts to like, and a lot of micro areas of the game you could analyze and conclude the Maple Leafs were a better team.
But they weren't. The Bruins had them beat 5-on-5, almost brutally. A game played in stark juxtaposition to the second game of the series, in front of a boisterous crowd backed by many more thousands outside the doors. Leafs Nation showed up, and the Maple Leafs did as well. Unfortunately, they were beaten by a real good hockey team on Monday night. Details below.
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!