The Toronto Maple Leafs actually beat the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-3 on Thursday night. It was not an easy win as it never seems to be against rival Boston but they got the job done to keep their slim and I do mean slim chances at the postseason alive.
The Leafs got on the board first as Paul Ranger scored on a rebound off of a Jerry D’Amigo shot to put the Leafs on the board. It would be short-lived, however, as Cody Franson made a perfect pass to Brad Marchand as he netted his 23rd of the season. The Leafs would regain the lead as Tyler Bozak deflected a Phil Kessel shot that fooled Bruins goaltender Chad Johnson. James van Riemsdyk added to the lead as he would lift a bouncing puck and roof it upstairs on Johnson, before the Bruins added two more goals then the world of Toronto sports stopped and stood in silence as Jonathan Bernier went down with an injury. Paul Ranger took an interference penalty by pushing a Bruin into Bernier, causing Bernier to put little to no pressure on his leg as he gingerly walked to the Leafs’ dressing room. In came James Reimer to once again be either the saviour or the goat of the Leafs’ season, and it was against Boston of all teams.
Bruce Arthur put it perfectly.
However, unlike that one game that NEVER REALLY HAPPENED, the Leafs were able to hold off the Bruins as Nazem Kadri was able to put home the overtime winner on the power play to win the game for the Leafs and keep that finger on the edge of the cliff.
Via extraskater.com, the Leaf’s fenwick against the Bruins really fell flat tonight and it showed. The Leafs were lucky (once again) to sneak out with a W.
Bernier’s injury is concerning. He did not look comfortable coming off the ice as he couldn’t put any weight on his leg. If the Leafs manage to somehow make it into the postseason, they gotta hope Bernier is 100 per cent ready to go. Otherwise, it could be Reimer and Marlies’ call-up Drew MacIntyre as the Leafs’ playoff tandem.
JvR finally got to 30 goals in a season for the first time in his career, which feels kind of weird considering how freaking talented he is, and oh man poor Luke Schenn. While Kessel proved he is not a one-trick pony and picked up two assists, one of them to JvR for his 30th goal. It feels good to have a healthy van Riemsdyk producing.
The Blue Jackets won tonight, which means this Leafs’ win is sooo much bigger. The Leafs remain one point behind the Jackets for the second wild card spot instead of three, but this blows a lot. This is what the Leafs have gotten themselves into, as they have to win games and get some help from other teams as the season winds to close. The Jackets have games in hand and that could come up huge at season’s end.