After Petr Mrazek got hurt, I thought the Toronto Maple Leafs were in for a long night against the Boston Bruins.
Being thrown into action off the bench in the TD Garden isn’t easy for any goaltender let alone a guy who’s played in six games in his career. Erik Kallgren stood tall for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they needed him, and kept this game from getting out of hand.
Should he have had one or two goals he let in? Maybe. He did what he was asked.
That is the most backbone I’ve seen the Leafs play with in a very long time.
Toronto Maple Leafs Pay Heavy Cost to Beat Bruins
I had issues I had with how they played against Calgary a while back. I had no issues with how they played against Boston in terms of physicality. 3
35-27 for Boston was the official tally of hits on the night. Considering the Leafs were missing Lyubushkin and Holl a lot of this game, I’d consider that a win for the Leafs.
Speaking of Lyubushkin, It’s an absolute joke that Taylor Hall is only getting fined for that sucker punch.
I mean what are we doing here, Mr. Parros? Lyubushkin’s back is turned, and shows now willingness to get into an altercation with Hall. What are we doing here?
Don’t think I didn’t see Charlie Coyle trip up Lyubushkin there as well.
The Leafs were already down to five Defensemen after Justin Holl was hit in the head with a shot. (after being tripped by a Bruins player without a call) so after losing Lyubushkin, the Leafs were forced to run four defensemen for an entire period. If you’re wondering how the Bruins got back into this game, look no further than that.
It’s amazing that they finished this game without Kyle Clifford dropping the gloves with someone, though I think Sheldon Keefe might have something or everything to do with that. I didn’t see much of Clifford in the third period.
Ok enough complaining about how bad officiating and George Parros are. Let’s talk about the game. I would be absolutely ok with that being the fourth line for the rest of the season. Colin Blackwell offers more speed that you need at the centre position and gives Jason Spezza less to do. Blackwell’s goal was an absolute beauty. Jason Spezza at 100 years old is still Jason Spezza. I liked what I saw.
Then there’s Kyle Clifford.
He offers more than Simmonds, I guess, but he hasn’t seemed to have his legs underneath him in the last few games that he’s played. He’s more visible than Simmonds on the ice, but it’s also more noticeable when he makes a mistake…. or falls on the ice after not being touched. All in all, I think he had a solid game. The Leafs have needed more out of their fourth line for months now, and they finally might have something.
As for the first line, Mitch Marner has been playing like a man possessed for months. He’s always been a 200-foot guy, but this season he’s taken that to a whole new level. Every time he has the puck on his stick it feels like something you just have to watch. As for Auston Matthews, what is there to say about the best goal scorer in the league?
I’m liking this Leafs team more and more every game. They have depth they haven’t had in the past and their defense looks… good? Mark Giordano has been a home run acquisition by Kyle Dubas.
The Leafs have 16 games to go and sit one point behind Tampa and seven points behind Florida. Winning the Atlantic Division is not out of the question. A first round series against the second wild card is not out of the question. Carolina is currently tied with Florida at 96 points. The Leafs have 89.
However, the Toronto Maple Leafs might be in a spot of trouble. We have no update as of now on Holl and Lyubushkin’s status, though they were both held out of the game for “precautionary reasons” per the team.
As for Mrazek, he’s going to miss some time according to Sheldon Keefe. Who’s getting called up you ask? Why none other than Michael Hutchinson…