Things could not have started better, as the B’s showed they weren’t gonna roll over like they had in the past four games. Bodies were thrown, possessing the puck, and strangling the passing and shooting lanes in their own end.
They were rewarded for their efforts with Charlie Coyle hitting paydirt in the middle of the slot from a great Grzelcyk pass. 1-0 B’s!
Fantastic puck support and the beginning of a great night for Coyle.
Not much else other than that happened highlight wise, so we move over to the 2nd period.
The Leafs woke up in the second, making the Bruins make mistakes, playing with speed and numbers, and Boston was barely able to handle itself on some shifts thanks to their sudden reawakening. Regrettably, Toronto did get even, on what is yet another example of video replay either screwing the B’s or the limitations of cameras not being able to show us what it looked like at ice level...but c’mon, they never win these reviews. 1-1 Tie.
Replay was a mistake, and so was this goal.
Other than that, Boston mostly spent a lot of the period reminding Toronto that while they may have been in control, they were playing with fire.
And that would bring us right up to...
Brad Marchand single-handedly runs the Leafs defense out of the building:
I mean...this was 11 seconds into the period.
Morgan Reilly and Cody Ceci are a real NHL defense pairing run by one of the most expensive teams in the league. That’s a real thing. 2-1 Bruins!
Regrettably, Boston also ended up in a miscommunication behind Rask a few minutes later, and ended up giving Kasperi Kapanen a wide open lane to shoot past Rask and tie the game up again. 2-2.
Eesh. I guess some of the same puck mismanagement from the last couple of games is still there.
Thankfully, Brad Marchand saw that as a personal challenge. But he couldn’t just do the same thing he did on his last scoring play to put the B’s up, could he? Surely the Leafs would learn something, right?
I love it when nobody learns anything. 3-2 Bruins!
The Leafs then spent the rest of the game out of sorts, looking desperately for an equalizer, not finding it, and getting more and more ravenous for a goal when they pulled Andersen...and then promptly let Zdeno Chara atomize a puck to make it 4-2 Bruins!
I feel you, John. Just wasn’t your night.
And with that, Boston’s losing streak comes to an end, let’s start a whole new winning streak tomorrow!
- Great night for the best thing to come out of Weymouth, MA; Charlie Coyle. Two point night, was all over the Leafs, wasn’t afraid of anybody, and did pretty much all the little things right. Don Sweeney should always be patting himself on the back for this pickup.
- Speaking of good nights...good lord, Brad Marchand. There were children at tonight’s game. That was filthy in all the best ways. Happy 700th game.
- While the B’s didn’t convert on the power play, I think Danton Heinen as an option...works? He’s not a patch on pure shooters nor the sheer playmaking skill of some of the other guys on IR, but he’s responsible in a man-advantage system that is almost comically irresponsible without the puck.
- Matt Grzelcyk was trying so hard to score on Andersen tonight and it just wasn’t happening. He’ll have to take the assist on Coyle’s goal as recompense. He was playing with a lot of jump to him!
- Rask had a busy night, especially in the 2nd period, and he held the fort well enough. a .935 SV% is a good rebound performance after the last few games.
- The fancystats basically confirm the feeling that Boston had the higher quality chances. The difference between Boston’s High Danger-CF% and Toronto’s was almost 15%. Their xGF% difference was even worse. The Leafs played oddly conservatively and they paid for it big time.
- Trent Frederic! Had a lot of hits! Didn’t do a whole lot else. That said, he played alright.
- Urho Vaakanainen is gonna be a defensive delight in about a year’s time. Dude was doing a great job of casually redirecting players away from Rask with a much scarier group of forwards in front of him. Had some miscues here or there, but was otherwise making life very difficult for the Leafs and hey! He wasn’t brained like last year! He’s only gonna get better!
- No seriously, Cody Ceci was Morgan Reilly’s D-partner. What’s in the water up there in Ontario?
- BOSTON DIDN’T LOSE ANYBODY TO INJURY! CELEBRATE!
The B’s are right back at it tomorrow against the Capitals at 7pm EST. I’ll see you there!