Toronto Maple Leafs lose 3-1 thriller to Boston Bruins

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs put forth a laudable road effort in front of a raucous Boston crowd in a rough and entertaining affair tonight, but ultimately fell 3-1 to the Boston Bruins. Hockey is a cruel game sometimes, and the Leafs simply didn’t put in a full 60-minute effort, and even though there were some positives, the NHL standings will still list “6” under the “L” column beside the Leafs’ name tomorrow morning. Here are some thoughts on the game:

A Tale Of Two Periods

The first period was an unadulterated mess for the Leafs. There was one stretch in which the Leafs were hemmed in their end of the ice for probably close to two minutes straight…at even strength. The Bruins eventually tallied a goal on the power play when Zdeno Chara banged in the puck from the doorstep off a scramble.

The second period, however, was completely different. The Leafs started getting more physical; Dion Phaneuf had a big hit, and David Clarkson dropped the mitts with Jarome Iginla. For one reason or another, the Leafs seemed to use the fight as motivation, and clearly drove play for the rest of the period. Joffrey Lupul scored a really nice goal off the rush when he fired a snapshot from the circle to the left of Tuukka Rask over his short-side shoulder. The Leafs were able to take the game into the second intermission tied.

Shot To The Heart

(I sincerely apologize for the Bon Jovi pun. Wait, no I don’t. Deal with it.)

I’m not sure what the statistic is, but I can tell you the vast majority of games this season the Leafs have been outshot, and most of those haven’t been close. But in this game, the Leafs finished with 34 shots; the exact same number as the Bruins. Miraculously, the Leafs actually won the corsi battle (in five-on-five, close-score situations) 37-36. That might only be a difference of one shot attempt, but if you’ve been watching the Leafs this season, you know any victory on the shot counter is significant.

Reimer Is Still Reimer

James Reimer was his usual magnificent self, making a bunch of big saves on the Bruins. If it wasn’t for Reimer, the Leafs could have easily ended that first period down 4-0. Unfortunately for the Leafs, Rask was great on the other end as well. If I was naming the Three Stars for this game, I would just have the two goalies there and throw out the third star. Who cares about the third star anyway? Better yet, who cares about any of the three stars? Whatever, I’m done here.

Topics: Toronto Maple Leafs

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  • Getrdone

    Just my observation, but I thought the Leafs put real pressure on the Bruins and forced them into turnovers when they were skating hard and showed urgency, but like most games this season the Leafs did not show this type of commitment the whole game and as a result, no points.

    • Tim Bayer

      It’s frustrating because we know the Leafs are capable of playing that way against an elite team like the Bruins, but then they disappear for long stretches as well. I think part of it might be the system and their total inability to break out of the zone.

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