Familiar team. Familiar result.
The Toronto Maple Leafs once again lost to the Boston Bruins, this time by a score of 5-2. What started as a game that looked liked it would belong to the Leafs quickly became the Bruins.
The first period was fairly even, which definitely favored the Leafs. The Leafs focused on defensive play, making sure the injury-depleted but still dangerous Bruins didn’t get off to a fast start.
The Leafs got on the board first when Peter Holland scored his third goal of the season, second as a Leaf, off of a rebound from a David Clarkson shot. The Leafs held that lead for the rest of the first period.
Then, a familiar enemy reared it’s ugly head once again: the penalty kill. In the first seven minutes of the second period, the Leafs allowed two power play goals less than two minutes apart, the first by Carl Soderberg and the second by Torey Krug.
Kevan Miller then scored his first NHL goal with 4:02 remaining in the period to put the Bruins up 3-1.
The third period started by a quick goal by Jay McClement to bring the score to 3-2, but that was as close as the Leafs would get. Jarome Iginla would net the insurance marker at the 16 minute mark of the third and Patrice Bergeron would score an empty-netter with 11 seconds remaining in the game.
If anything else, this game reminded us what the Leafs need to do to win. First they have to get their penalty kill back to where it was at the beginning of the season. Second, they need to take advantage of the power play. They’re usually deadly on it as the second-best team in the league, but when they don’t score on the power play in a game, it usually ends badly.
If the Leafs take care of those two things, they could get back to where they were in October. Now would definitely be a good time to do that with the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks as the Leafs’ opponents this week.