After nearly seven months, the Leafs finally have their shot at redemption against the Bruins for their playoff series.
But, just like that first round matchup, the Bruins top line overwhelmed, the weak links on the blueline reminded us that they were the weak links, and the goaltending wasn’t exactly ideal. Just great.
Based on how they played, that may have been the Leafs best period this season, especially considering the context. It’s a back-to-back, and they’re still without both Matthews and Nylander, and they came in and dominated play, especially in the first half of the period.
So of course, the Leafs come out of the period down 1-0, as their biggest problem with the Bruins in the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak struck again late in the period and gave the Bruins the lead with a deflection goal.
As good of a first period as the Leafs had, they had an almost equally bad second period. The Bruins top line torched them with a couple goals from David Pastrnak, and until a late period power play, the Leafs had almost no life in them.
Luckily for them, their power play is pretty good. While the power play itself didn’t score, they kept the pressure up and scored shortly after, as John Tavares (fun fact: he’s a Leaf) scored to bring the Leafs within two going into the third period.
tavares from marner 😍 pic.twitter.com/JeWmbE84oc
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) November 11, 2018
Oh, you thought the Leafs would build momentum going into the third and mount a comeback? You thought wrong.
The Leafs managed 11 shots on net in the third, most of them in the final minutes when the game was already blown wide open. Not the kind of offensive generation you want from a team down by two. Not only that, but late in the third, Kappy took a double minor, giving the Bruins a four minute power play, and resulting in another Pastrnak goal.
This was then shortly followed by a goal from Joakim Nordstrom, and that would basically do it for the Leafs on this Saturday night, as the Leafs would fall 5-1.
Alright everybody, stop freaking out.
This was a back-to-back game with their backup in net, and without two of their best players. The Bruins top line overwhelmed them, and Jaroslav Halak had a really good night. It happens.
And let’s keep calm about Sparks for a little bit as well. This is only his third game, and all three of Pasta’s goals were terribly defended cross ice goals, with one of them seeing Pastrnak left wide open. Goal one was weak, but deflected, and goal five was bad, but the game was over anyways. Let’s just chill.
The charts confirm the eye test. The Leafs started strong, but it was basically Boston’s game after that. Poor defense and goaltending did the Leafs in, and a strong showing from Halak didn’t help either.
Can we just have Matthews and Nylander back soon?
So @FriedgeHNIC just said on HNIC that the Leafs have told teams to put offers together for William Nylander.
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) November 11, 2018
Oh for crying out loud.