When you think about it, the Boston Bruins are a huge part of the reason that the Leafs are where they are today. If a certain game doesn’t go down the way that it did, you likely don’t see Leafs management go on a mental pilgrimage to find “character” and whatever other things they thought would make them better in the summer of 2013. Wouldn’t it be great if the Leafs held on? Hell, it may even have been better if the Bruins got their crap together sooner and won in five games. But here we are, hoping that they, as they usually do, beat the Leafs.
Tonight, they, as they usually do, beat the Leafs, though they certainly took their time to make it happen.
The first noteworthy moment in this game wasn’t a goal, but rather, a scary incident. Trevor Smith took a hit from Zdeno Chara, and on his way down, went face first into the ice. Seeming a little out of it and very bloody, Smith headed to the dressing room, while the two teams got back to work. The Bruins kept firing, and the Leafs kept chasing, but after twenty minutes, the game remained scoreless.
In the second, however, we saw some action. Predictably, the Bruins were the first to strike. Less than twenty seconds in, Patrice Bergeron picked up his own rebound and roofed the puck above a sprawling James Reimer to give his team the lead. Late in the frame, however, a shot by Morgan Rielly made all the right bounces, including off of Adam McQuaid’s stick and Tuukka Rask’s back en route to the back of the Boston net, tying the game.
The Bruins continued to pour it on in the third period, and if we can be honest, made the Leafs look like they were in a league below. At the same time, though, they weren’t able to beat James Reimer, and this eventually meant that the game would be solved in overtime. Five minutes of continued hockey proved to still not be enough time, so the two teams headed to a shootout. Bergeron struck once again, and in this case, was the only one to put a puck past a goalie, ultimately giving the Bruins the win.
How about James Reimer? Most of the skaters had pretty awful nights, and the Bruins were determined to take advantage of that. However, Optimus Reim came through in incredible fashion, making 49 saves on 50 shots and stopping two of three shootout attempts.
He seems like the type of guy that loves everyone and everything, but if I had to guess, his one exception to the rule might be Patrice Bergeron. For, you know, reasons.
Summing It Up
I’m sure a lot of Leafs fans are unamused right now. Having to cheer against their favourite team is one thing, but cheering for the Bruins? Unacceptable. In return, they saw their team basically get held against a wall and slowly punched out. To make matters worse, they still got a point! Really, it’s all the stuff you didn’t want to see happen tonight, rolled into one and sold to you as a broadcast. The Leafs return to the ice tomorrow, against the Senators. Just three more to go!