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Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs season ends on sour note

Well, looks like 2018 won’t become the new 1967.

The Leafs held the lead three times in Game 7, but were unable to finish things off. Boston came out on top by a 7-4 score, advancing to the second round to take on Tampa Bay. In a (short) sentence… this sucks.

Corsis

First period

Patrick Marleau was a good signing? Patrick Marleau was a good signing. While Jake DeBrusk would sneak in a goal there, Patrick Marleau scored two of the game’s first three goals inside just under seven minutes in the first period.

Here’s goal one:

Here’s goal two:

Believe it or not, the Leafs wouldn’t be able to hold that lead. Danton Heinen and Patrice Bergeron both scored their first goals of the series, and Toronto ended up down 3-2 after 20 minutes, despite having two separate leads.

Second period

Since scoring his infamous first career “neckstrap in mouth” goal, Travis Dermott hasn’t quite been able to find the back of the net. That all changed until tonight, when he unloaded this beauty to put the Leafs even at three.

The Bruins would end up on the power play once again, but it would be a Leaf in Kasperi Kapanen who would find the net on this quick break.

Third period

There’s just like, no way you really want to see this. The Leafs allowed four goals in this period (one empty netter) while scoring zero, and it would be the last period of hockey they’d play all year. Jake DeBrusk, David Pastrnak, Torey Krug, and Brad Marchand would be the goal scorers, and the Leafs crumbled as they were unable to really get any sort of offence going. Final score: 7-4 Bruins, and that’ll be the last Leafs game of value until October. Enjoy your summer, everyone.

  • Vinchenzo50

    The Leafs have a great, young offensive team that will only get better in the coming years, but they need serious help on defense!! They need at least 1 or 2 big, strong, experienced defensemen and that is hard to find. They may need to give up some of their offense, in a trade, to get the good defense they need.

    Boston was just too big and physical in this series for Toronto!! I can’t believe Babcock didn’t put some of his big, hard hitting, physical players into this series like Matt Martin and Josh Leivo to counter Boston’s tough play. Their physicality and intimidating presence might have opened up the ice more for Matthews, Marner, Nylander, etc. to score more and win this series. They could have also been the protectors of the Leafs more talented players. It makes no sense to me!! Even Don Cherry said after Game 2 that Martin and Leivo should be put in the lineup.

    I’m not impressed with the stubborn $ 6.25 million a year man, Babcock, who just tinkers with small line changes instead of making the major changes that are sometimes called for in a series!!

    Also what about a few starts for goaltender, McElhinney in this series?? He was incredible in the regular season when called upon!! The only time they put him into this series, I believe, was Game 2 after Andersen had 3 or 4 goals scored against him. McElhinney should have had at least a few starts in this series.

    Oh well, the frustrating drought continues!! Better luck next year, Leafs!! I will always keep cheering for the Blue and White, regardless!!

  • Brought them to game 7, more experience in the bank and the weaknesses of this team are even more apparent. It’s not about a few mistakes here or there (ahem: Gardiner, Freddy). Their star players have mostly all played together for many years, won a cup…. they have been there, done that and know what it takes to get it done. The leafs star players are very young, and I still believe they will go far. Sure Gardiner had lots of gaffs… but they were playing him over 20 minutes per game when he should be a second pairing guy. How many 50+ point defensemen are in the league? It would be a mistake to let him go, they need to ADD good defensemen, not lose them.

  • Nick S.

    Definitely disappointing. Heading into the third, I thought to myself, “This is it. This is where they play a tight game and lock this down. This is the turn.” It wasn’t. I feel for Jake. No one wants him to be better than he does but I’m so tired of seeing him make bonehead plays defensively and it’s only magnified in a game like this. It’s not the end of the world. This team is still very much on the upswing. Safe to say Matthews had an underwhelming showing but he’s still getting better too. Rielly, Marner and Marleau were incredible all series. And I’ll eave you with this thought: If the Leafs had won game 7 in 2013 when they didn’t deserve to, we wouldn’t have Matthews and the rest of this core right now. Just think what we might be able to say this game led to in a couple years.

  • VK63

    I cant believe Babs was so disconnected from his bench’s response to DeBrusks dagger goal. The bench completely deflated and Babs did nothing.
    It was bizarre. Pull Freddy for Mack. Stall. Did he have a timeout?
    Give the young lads some perspective and bring them back into the moment. Instead he lets them sit there and chew cotton balls as they (subsequently) get steam rolled.
    Well I guess he did yell a lot.

    Pathetic.

    Instead of asking about that we did get insight like “a Leafs hat in the garbage can”.
    #smarter

  • Bob Canuck

    That was a very disappointing result. As someone who thinks Jake Gardiner is a very good second-pair defenseman, he was just awful last night. Andersen was also not good. Using Corsica’s Expected Save Percent data, which accounts for the difficulty of shots faced, if Andersen had produced the expected save percent of 0.917, he would have allowed 3 and not 6 goals.

    Two other things that were worth noting. First, the Bruins scored 2 goals on 4v4, which should be an advantage for the Leafs given their speed and skill. The second item of note was Babcock’s decision-making. Although the Leafs won the draw that led to the Krug goal, I found it odd that Babcock would send Marleau and Marner out for a defensive zone faceoff when you knew Bergeron would be out there. Why not use Bozak, who would have been on his strong side and he was 57% on faceoffs? You can get control of the puck, move the puck out and replace Marner for Bozak. Also, I found it odd that Kapanen, who was flying, only had 3 shifts in the third period. I hope the Leafs coaching staff take a hard look at themselves when they conduct the post-mortem.

  • Bob Canuck

    For those who are on Twitter, Gus Katsaros (@Katsaros) has a very good 12-point thread today that offers a concise, thoughtful analysis of the Leafs and their deficiencies.

  • leafdreamer

    This post is in parts because I couldn’t post it in one piece.

    Part One:

    Playoffs is a different animal altogether. We, the fans of the Maple Leafs are jus finding that out now. The kids don’t usually shine (unless they are on Crosby’s or Bergeron’s wing), the veteran players play a bigger role and goalies have to be, not only solid, but outstanding for their teams to have a chance.

    Our veterans played well in this series – Hainsey and Polak on defense and Marleau, Plekanec, JVR and Bozak up front. They were far from dominant, but they contributed and looked dangerous at times. They scored us some goals. Kadri was ok, but he missed a bunch of time with that suspension and lost his spot in the lineup and never really re-integrated himself into the lineup.

    Of the kids, Kapanen and Marner did well the former playing a very defensively mature game and the latter driving play and creating chances and goals more than anyone else on the team. Dermott was a nice surprise and Hyman and Brown found their honest and hard-working style of hockey translates well to playoffs game.

    It was our ‘young core’ of Gardiner, Rielly, Zaitsev, Matthews and Nylander that dropped the ball this postseason. They just ended up giving up too much and not scoring as much as they are supposed to. Rielly more than made up for his high point total in +/- and Gardiner did not make up for his defensive gaffes with goals and assists. Zaitsev was not as bad as the ole’ fascist uncle tried to convince us but neither was he stepping up and forcing anyone to defend him. Matthews was a point per game player in the regular season despite playing most of it injured. Not so in the ost-season. Nylander just quietly disappeared as well as the season wore on. In the playoffs, he continued his decline.

  • RedBlue&White

    Was Andersen concussed from taking a few Kreyci punches to the head , in the 2nd period ? he looked dazed after and wasn’t the same again . Boston took liberties – pretty hard to play hockey when your head is being crosschecked to the ice .

  • Hockeysense9393

    Is this gonna turn out to be like the Caps – Pens stigma? A good competitive team every year, but just can’t seem to get past those pesky Bruins? If anybody can exercise this demon…it’s Babcock. The team is young and will get even better. This kind of reminds me of the Flames in the 80’s…who first couldn’t figure out their biggest rivalry the Oilers. So they built their team to beat the Oilers…and in turn beat everybody else. This may be what the Leafs need to do.

  • Glen

    Come on man the guy was minus five, the only positive I will give him was he did man up and take responsibility after the game. Was he the only reason they lost, no as a team they collapsed in the third from the goal out. And you could include the coach in that. Matthews had a tough go but IMO you do not put two grinders with your top offensive star. Oh well better luck next year.