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Recap: The sloppy Bruins are back, and the Leafs capitalize to take Game 3

It wasn’t quite as bad as Game 1, but it, uh...wasn’t good.

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Three Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Highlights come from Chris tonight. If you don’t see them, click the score link to open the highlight directly.

A failure to clear the zone results in the Leafs gaining possession, and a toss on net ends up on the stick of Trevor Moore. 1-0 Leafs

The Bruins respond less than a minute later, as a flubbed David Krejci shot flutters in over Frederik Andersen to make it 1-1.

Tuukka Rask makes a big save on John Tavares, but Charlie McAvoy then launches Tavares into Rask’s head (again). Rask would get looked at by the trainer, but remained in the game.

Toronto ended up on the power play, where the Leafs were just quicker to every loose puck. That resulted in some excellent puck movement and a wide-open Auston Matthews, who didn’t miss. 2-1 Leafs

The Bruins, for some reason, elect to not cover Andreas Johnsson at all. He walks in alone and finishes with a great backhand to make it 3-1 Leafs.

Charlie Coyle gets a big one for the Bruins on the power play late in the second, clawing back some momentum and cutting the score to 3-2 Leafs.

And that would end up being it! The Bruins didn’t muster much in the way of Grade-A chances down the stretch, and that was the end of that. Another frustrating defeat for the Bruins.

Game notes

  • Another one that was tough to watch at times! This game wasn’t quite as bad as Game 1, but after such a positive effort in Game 2, the Bruins simply didn’t match the Leafs’ efforts tonight. It’s understandable that the Leafs would get a jump from the home crowd, but it seemed like they beat the Bruins to every loose puck, or that their sticks beat the Bruins’ passes into every lane. This is one of those games that wasn’t a fluke, in that the team that played better definitely won.
  • The frustrating part is that the Bruins, after played a fairly tight game on Saturday night, went right back to their sloppy ways. Two of the three goals were the direct result of failures to clear the puck (or at least maintain possession of it); the other (the Matthews PPG) was the result of the Leafs being hungrier on the puck. Again, frustrating.
  • In a minor positive, Charlie Coyle continues to be good. He and Danton Heinen were probably the Bruins’ best forwards tonight, which in and of itself isn’t a great sign. Still, Coyle has done well.
  • I can’t help but be a little puzzled by Bruce Cassidy tonight. He’s a coach who has juggled his lines with reckless abandon in the past. Bad shift? SHUFFLE! Sneeze the wrong way? SHUFFLE! Yet tonight, when three of the four lines were struggling to get anything going, he didn’t really do much. With Heinen playing well and David Pastrnak struggling, it would have been easy to put Heinen on the first line, bump Pastrnak down to the second and use Karson Kuhlman sparingly. Nada. The same trios were trotted out there, and they got the same results.
  • Speaking of lines, the Bruins’ first line has been bad. True, two of the three have goals, but they’ve been about as far from their dominant selves as a line can get. Think about the series thus far: do you remember any dominating shifts from that trio? Any shifts like last season, when those three ran roughshod over Toronto for 7 games? It’s been puzzling, to be honest. It’s hard to tell if the Leafs line-matching is wearing them down, if the physical play is getting to them, or if they’ve just been out of sync. Whatever the case may be, the Bruins’ best players haven’t even been close to actually being their best players. That’s not how you win a series.
  • I thought we might get a rare game where Tuukka Rask wasn’t blamed for a loss, but I’m probably too optimistic.
  • Regarding Rask, I can’t believe Charlie McAvoy ran another guy into his head. Rask made a big save on John Tavares right before the collision too. I’m sure McAvoy isn’t doing it on purpose, but it’s a weird coincidence.
  • It’s a little early, but my guess is that there are lineup changes coming Wednesday. Ideally, Marcus Johansson is ready. No knock on Karson Kuhlman, but he hasn’t done much to stay in the lineup.

Back at it on Wednesday!