Toronto Maple Leafs: The Ryan Reaves Effect

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are down 2-1 in their series against the Boston Bruins. However, it is not for a lack of effort. Game three could have gone either way and had it not been for a couple of missed calls by officials, the Leafs would likely be leading the series.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are having trouble solving Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman. He is keeping the Bruins in games and is one of the main reasons the Bruins are leading the best-of-seven series. Through the two games Swayman has played, he has a 1.51 GAA, which leads all goaltenders in the playoffs as of Thursday morning. (All stats from

Another factor in this series is the Leafs horrible power play. They were 0/5 in game three and are 1/10 in the series. Some playoff series are won by having a good power play, and right now, the Leafs do not. Hopefully, they figure it out and win game four to tie the series before heading back to Boston for game five.

Things haven't been all bad for the Leafs through three games. It was reasonable for the Leafs to sit Reaves in the playoffs (he's a 37 year old enforcer and there are no fights in the playoffs) but he has been everything the Leafs need him to be, and more than earned his lineup spot.

Reaves and the fourth line have been one of the Leafs best lines in this series. From heavy hits, controlling the puck in the offensive zone, and keeping the Bruins players in line, Reaves and his linemates are doing their job.

Ryan Reaves Giving Toronto Maple Leafs Fighting Chance

With Reaves in the lineup, he acts as a deterrent for Bruins players to try anything unsportsmanlike. You can tell when he's on the bench that he's watching every play and keeping his eyes on certain players.

His 17 hits through three games are an example of how he is making the Bruins try to earn space on the ice. It doesn't come without paying a price, and Reaves is making them pay every shift.

During game three, Reaves and the Leafs fourth line were hitting everything that moves with black and gold on. It was a nice sight to see after too many previous playoffs without it.

Win or lose, this series will be a hard-fought one for the Leafs.


Game four will be on Saturday, so hopefully, Reaves and company will keep playing like they have been, and the Leafs goal scorers will find the back of the net enough times to help the Leafs even the series 2-2 before heading back to Boston.