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Photo Credit: © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame: Kiss of Death

It’s ok, that’s why the series is seven games. Just take a moment to breathe and try and think logically.

Boston is dumb and stupid and ugly. They only deserve misery.

That Corsi

You can see where the Leafs just lost everything. That third period was tough to watch.

1st Period

What started off as the worst period of Leafs hockey we have seen in a couple years, turned out to be not too bad. I’m sure every fan was calling for a Bruins sweep – being the negative fan like we all have grown to be following this team. Especially after the garbage-eating rat scored this goal on the man advantage.

https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/984572148026167297

After a bomb out of nowhere hitting the post from Jakey boy, our boys in blue seemed to come alive and it resulted in Zach Hyman turning into prime Peter Forsberg.

https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/984577711220908032

Heading into the second at a tie game? I’ll take that.

2nd Period

This period really showed how much the Leafs will have to hide those holes on the blueline. Insane scoring chances for our beloved team, but nothing you’re able to see on the scoreboard. But everything comes down to the end of a very old man and Czech ogre.
https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/984591642438111232

David Backes Eats Dogs.

At least Boston’s first two goals were on the powerplay and shows how much more DOMINANT the Leafs are at even-strength, right?

Not really since David Pastrnak had a stupid-ass goal. I thought him and Willy were supposed to be friends? You don’t make your friends sad.
https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/984594193522839553

3rd Period

This game just became unhinged in the third period. Completely off the wall – and I love it.

Of course, it was 4-1, etc. etc. etc.

https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/984602167343550465

But even when you’re winning by three goals, no one touches our smallest son’s jaw. no. one.

https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/984602481874362369

Kadri got a game misconduct for that and deserved it, essentially throwing the rest of the game out the window with more than half the period left.

Shut up Pete.

We’re the villains and we fucking love it.

https://twitter.com/JeffVeillette/status/984604635238490113

Hockey is dumb.

At least it’s only one game and there’s still three more chances to win. I’m trying to not get super down about one game, but it’s hard not to imagine this Bruins team just steamrolling through our precious little team.

Boston is a gross city, whatever.

The Tweets

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  • lukewarmwater

    The leafs are in the actual second year of the rebuild after the tear down. Unfortunately to a certain degree this team has been built in the Babcock Detroit tradition of being more of a Lady Byng candidate squad who can free wheel in the regular season. But a funny thing happens in the playoffs. IT FREAKING BECOMES PHYSICAL.
    Just one game but there was no doubt after the first 10 minutes that the Bruins who had to play Monday to make up a game came out on the fore check plastering leaf players into the boards. Most of our finest players wanted no part of this style of game. Oh sure there were a few guys throwing back checks. Ironic that the only guy who scored was the gritty Hyman, the only player on the top line who is willing to to get in the dirty zones and take the pounding. Btw it was the ony time that a leaf got behind the Bruins defence. Yet we have several fast skaters.
    This wasn’t Babs finest moment either as the replay definitely looked off side and he had to take the risk of nullifying that goal. Give Boston credit for stopping Marner’s game plan on the power play and again Babs had brain fart moments in his insistence on using the hands of stone Uncle Leo on the second power play unit. All he does is create a wall in front of the net as the skilled players have to fight the Bruin penalty killers and Komarov being in the way.
    Time to bench our wonder Montreal pick up. I thought this guy was good on the face offs. He along with Komarov can’t skate anymore and thus nullifying the speed of Kappy.
    Late in the game there were a couple of instances that typified the leafs problems. I’m convinced that Auston still has back issues as most of the night he simply went into the corner with a Bruin player lined up for a hard check from a guy closing in on 220 lbs. Nope Matthews simply tried to stick check. He did attempt a couple of body checks late in the game.
    With the score 3 to 1, good old Jake got caught up ice and boom the puck is in the net. But Jake once again showed his true character late in the game in the last minute as neither team was throwing any hard checks. Jake had the puck and saw a Bruin coming to him ready to give a normal check. But Jake wanted no part of that and simply iced the puck.
    Obviously the rebuild of this team is still going to take time and yes Polak and Hainsey are showing their years. But both Reilly and especially Gardiner can’t play well in their own zone. Poor Freddy was left alone out there.
    Kadri obviously lost it in the third and almost had a deliberate knee on Knee before he boarded the Bruin player. Expect a suspension. Now if that had been the rat, well no call what so ever.
    Hopefully Babcock can get this team to play playoff hockey on Saturday. A lot of disappointed leaf fans wearing their favourite leaf jersey for the team and obviously for the Bronco hockey team in Saskatchewan.

    • Kanuunankuula

      It’s absolutely perplexing that even with the stinker of a game Rielly (9% Corsi) and Hainsey had you still manage to blame Gardiner the most. They’ve just plain have to be better.

      A real dumbass play by Kadri, probably earned himself a suspension. We need more skill now, so slot in Johnsson.

      • lukewarmwater

        Just wow, did you see Gardiner all night as usual being afraid of his own shadow. Trust me the Bruins salivate when he is out there in his own zone as he will cough up the puck or ice it to avoid a hit. The guy is a non playoff performer. Maybe I’ll send you a pair of eye glasses as well as Babs hopefully will get the eyeglasses I gifted to him as the first goal was definitely off side.
        But heh if Jakes skating circles and circles is what thrills you, who am I to destroy your viscarious thrills.

        • leafdreamer

          I love your comments usually Luke but I have to agree with the brother criticizing you here. Just look at the sequence on the 4the goal that you’re describing where Gardiner is chasing De Brusk and manages to force him into a crappy shot and then watch Rielly who is in front of Kuraly watching the play and skating by the play leaving Kuraly all alone to tap in the rebound. Rielly’s been a minus player all year and here again he’s managed to be on for the both even-handed goals against.

          Blaming Polak and Hainsey for being spent after killing a penalty for 1:45 is just lazy and unfair. We took too many penalties, our PK wasn’t good tonight, we didn’t get the bounces on our PP opportunities and we had Morgan Rielly on the ice tonight. Usually, our PK is better and we’re drawing penalties and scoring in the PP. Morgan Rielly usually almost makes up for his defensive mistakes by creating some offence.

          The problem now is that we’re probably going to lose our only gritty and defensively-capable ‘match-up’ centre Nazim Kadri for a game or two. That’s a huge problem. I’ll be surprised if Marner survives this series without Martin, not only in the lineup, but ON HIS LINE. Of course, Babs would rather watch all the kids get killed than admit that he was wrong to let them out without protection.

          I predicted a Leafs sweep because I got caught up in the hype and started to believe that our ‘speed and skill’ will killl the Bruins. Oh boy was I ever wrong. Old school playoff hockey it is and we’re in big trouble. It’s looking a lot more like we’re the ones getting swept.

          • lukewarmwater

            Leaf I think on a number of occasions you took me out of context. First of all I stated both Reilly and Gardiner are incapable of playing solid defence in their own zone. Heh I didn’t blame Hainsey and Polak on the second goal. Blame the $7 million dollar man for over playing Hainsey all year. Blame him for having the two out there for 1 minute and 45 seconds. But as you astutely point out who replaces the pair. Gardiner, Reilly??
            Where you totally nailed it and I’ve been preaching this for several months, the second year rebuild, and please people comprehend that I’m talking about the rebuild from tearing down the team. Don’t get into stupid semantics of well its 3 years or 4 years. Enough please. The leafs are at this point not built for the playoffs as was illustrated last year as Tom Wilson was a one man wrecking ball in the leaf zone for the Capitals. Now I expect the $7 million dollar man to figure it out by next year. Btw Kadri lost it last night but he won’t admit it but I think he was just as pissed seeing several of the Lady Byng candidates not coming to the defence of teammates. Kadri in his cheap shot that got him thrown out and he should be suspended wasn’t the first leaf in the area. But the pacifists wanted no part in messing it with the Bruins. Finally it seems the Jake Gardiner fan club is out in full force. Most of us can tolerate his game in the regular season as obviously there is less physicality but come the playoffs when I see a guy ice the puck in the last minute when the game is over so he can avoid a simple regular body check speaks volumes about why when the leafs are true Stanley Cup contenders, Gardiner will NOT be on that team.

      • Bob Canuck

        You should watch the games more closely!

        The 6 power play opportunities for the Bruins contributed to the lack of flow to the Leafs 5v5 offence. Gardiner did not not take any of the penalties so clearly he is responsible for lack of offensive flow attributed to the taking of penalties.

        More importantly, how can you ignore the 3 Boston power play goals? Gardiner was not on the ice for any of those goals so clearly he must be held accountable for these Boston goals.

        Do you not watch face offs? Babcock decided to match the fourth line against the Bergeron line late in the second period for a D-zone face off; a Boston goal occurred soon after. Gardiner, who was not on the ice for the goal against nor did he send the Plekanec line out on the ice, is at fault.

        Cast aside data and just watch the game with a keen, experienced eye; this will add to your enjoyment and understanding of the game.

        P.S. If Kadri is suspended, do not be fooled if the announcement comes from the Department of Player Safety. The decisions will be made by Jake Gardiner, not George Parros.

        • lukewarmwater

          I’ve been watching the N.H.L. and the leafs for over 60 years with two keen eyes. My eyes simply realise if you can’t play a physical game in the playoffs you will likely be bounced in the first round. We do agree that the $7 million dollar man to quote Desi Arnaz has some explaining to do.

    • Glen

      That was a hard one to watch my friend, how many times have we seen this. Brutal selfish game by Kadri. could cost the Leafs the season. Never mind blaming Polak the big problem on the Leafs D is the wonder boys Gardiner and Rielly SOFT SOFT SOFT. I do not care what their corsi is you have to defend. Lots of blame to go around Matthews a Nylander MIA. Marner skating like he is in the ice capades. The only Leafs that looked good were Dermott and Hyman. But hey it’s only one game and maybe the million dollar man can come up with a brilliant plan for the next one.

  • tbone

    Boy what a debacle! A bad game by a lot of Leafs. I won’t condemn Naz for what happened though. Before he ran Wingels, he saw Chara holding Marner so that Wingels could deliver an elbow to Marner’s head. That’s what I saw and that’s what Naz reacted to. I respect Naz for protecting Marner. Just wish he’d have dropped the gloves instead.
    Good boy Naz, hope you’re not out too long. If there’s any justice the DOPS will also suspend Wingels for the deliberate intent to injure Marner.

    • leafdreamer

      I thought it was pretty slimy of Babs to be talking about the need for discipline on Naz’s part in the post-game presser instead of having his boy’s back and maybe acknowledging that those two bastards sandwitched little Mitchy and elbowed him in the head.

      He also could have owned up to some of the mistakes he made such as not challenging that offside and not playing Martin and putting the 4th line out to close the 2nd period with Morgan Rielly against the Bergeron line, the bench penalty for too many men etc. This one’s on Babas as much as on anybody else. He’s a great coach but tonight was not his best night.

      • lukewarmwater

        Indeed it was not his best night. But Kadri was out of control earlier as he got a soft penalty called against him on the small Krug but proceeded to have a temper tantrum in the penalty box by banging his stick on the glass. Now most refs have rabbit ears and he could have easily had an extra two minutes for unsportsman like conduct. Plus he deliberately went for the knee of a Boston forward as he just missed the knee on knee. He went flying into a prone Bruin player and should be suspended for that. It is one thing to stick up for your teammates it is a second thing to me mature and not selfishly hurt your team as the best two way center you have. I’ll be very surprised to not see him suspended.

  • The Leafs are faster and more skilled, they lose this series if they try to match the Bruins physical game on the boards. It was a tie game and leafs had two power play chances to get the lead and failed on both. After the second failed power play I knew that was it, refs were giving the next one to Boston, who promptly scored on their opportunity. Putting in Martin would be a mistake, as it makes the 4th line worse. I hope they put Johnsson in in Kadri’s absence.

  • Bob Canuck

    I was as frustrated as many when the game ended. It was a disappointing result. However, after reading various articles today and giving the game some further thought, there are some positive things to keep in mind.

    After the initial onslaught in the first 10 minutes, at 5v5, the Leafs had the edge in expected goals for until late in the second period. The expected goals for favoured the Leafs in the first 8 minutes of the third period, probably due to the fact that they were behind. After that point, the Leafs 5v5 play deteriorated.

    On the power play, the Leafs actually had a slight edge in expected goals for, despite having fewer power play opportunities. Given the skill of the Leafs, they should continue to generate scoring chances and hopefully capitalize on them.

    Some of the errors can easily be addressed. For example, using additional D-men to share penalty-kill duties with Hainsey and Polak. Also, avoid having the fourth line match up against the Bergeron line when possible.

    I know that there are many Babcock skeptics. However, he is considered by many to be one of the best coaches in hockey. I have confidence that he can make adjustments to address some of their areas of concern.

    • lukewarmwater

      Bob give him an all-star team and he will win Olympic gold. Give him a young talented team of mainly finest players and two old defenceman and two guys who still haven’t figured out how to play defence in your own zone and you are up to your neck in quick sand. Regarding using additional defenceman, who do you put out there , Gardiner and Reilly. Heh it is the second year of the rebuild and Babcock and leaping Lou didn’t bring in any veteran gritty players for the playoffs. Instead we got a washed up has been from the A.H.L. Habs that cost us a second round pick. Plekanec should be benched for the rest of the playoffs he has been useless.
      Hopefully in year three we will specialise in adding grit, another younger veteran D to replace Hainsey and maybe a trade for a solid stay at home defenceman.
      Ironically the leafs at this point are the 2015, 2016, 2017 Raptors not built for the playoffs. We shall see if the Raptors have learned their lesson starting tomorrow.

      • Bob Canuck

        With regards to your question about Gardiner and Reilly as candidates to supplement Hainsey and Polak on the penalty kill, my thought was to have Dermott play with Polak and Zaitsev with Hainsey.

        On the subject of Gardiner and Reilly and their ability to perform in the playoffs, the data does not support your contention that they cannot perform well.

        In last season’s Leafs-Capitals series, here is how Gardiner and Reilly performed at 5v5. All figures courtesy of Corsica.

        Goals For Percentage
        Gardiner – 58%; Reilly 55%

        Expected Goals For
        Gardiner – 59%; Reilly 55%

        Relative Expected Goals For (xGF% on-ice less xGF% off-ice) in percentage points
        Gardiner – 12; Reilly – 6

        In other words, when Gardiner and Reilly were on the ice at 5v5, the Leafs had the majority of goals scored and expected goals. The positive Relative Expected Goals For figures of 12 and 6 mean that the Leafs did better when either of them were on the ice compared to when they were not on the ice.

        In terms of High Danger Chances For at 5v5, Gardiner was 62% and Reilly was 59%. This puts them in the top 10 for all defencemen in last year’s playoffs. Remember that Gardiner and Zaitsev had the tough match-ups in last season’s playoff. Babcock has publicly stated that he likes Gardiner because, when he is on the ice, Gardiner is elite in terms of the share of high danger scoring chances. This data is from Natural Stat Trick.

        This outstanding performance was against the team that dressed Tom Wilson, the “one man wrecking ball”. Your claim that Gardiner and Reilly cannot perform in the playoffs when it gets very physical is demonstrably false.

        • lukewarmwater

          Obviously we are watching different games. Again I will simply repeat what is before my eyes. Neither Reilly or Gardiner can handle the physical Bruins in front of their net. They simply are out muscled in their own zone. Don’t stay up all night with fancy dandy, stats. Just observe the ref pulling the puck out of the net behind Andersen as Reilly and Gardiner and their poor partner are simply pushed off the puck in their own zone. Heh maybe you like a Lady Byng team, give me a physical team built for the playoffs. You can have your fancy dandy Corsi stats, I want the Stanley Cup. I want a captain who will take 17 minutes when his top scorer is deliberately hit with a knee on knee. Yep, Steve Stamkos proved why he truly is a captain. But keep playing with all the Corsi stats, in fact marvel us with some even new ones. Lord give me strength.

          • Glen

            Expected goal for now there’s a stat for you. Hey listen I am just having fun and know analytics are part of the toolbox for management, but they only tell part of the story and can be wildly misleading for D men. I wonder how those big hits by big Byf show up on corsi. And the impact of something like that lasts for the remainder of the game. There is no way analytics reflects that.