Things got off to a good start with a power play around the midway point of the first period, as a pretty passing play allowed Bergeron to put a bullet on net with Taylor Hall tipping it out in front to put the Bruins up 1-0!
Taylor Hall tips home Bergeron's shot from the bumper.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 6, 2021
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/MpgKXeGIaj
So the Leafs are set up in the Bruins zone, they’re passing it, moving it around with speed, that sort of Toronto thing they do.
And then they knock the net loose in a net-front scramble.
And then they put the puck in the net, there’s a review. Against all logic and reason...it counts. 1-1 all.
Things stayed like that for the first period, and onto the shame pit of a 1b.
This period sucked out loud because Auston Matthews scored on two nearly consecutive power plays. The first one came late in the period where Derek Forbort did...this to try and get the puck away from Mitch Marner.
AUSTON MATTHEWS— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 7, 2021
POWER PLAY BACKHANDER pic.twitter.com/bwEUggnb9E
It didn’t work.
Then, an errant Matthews found a weakness in Ullmark and blasted it home.
This period ended with the Bruins down 3-1.
Things got worse, with John Tavares managing to clean up the netfront generally unopposed by both Gryz and Reilly, bringing the scored to 4-1.
David Pastrnak managed to cut into the lead a little bit with a really nice play he started off a Marchand block. 4-2 Leafs.
...but it wasn’t enough. The Bruins put almost 25 shots on Jack Campbell in this one period and they couldn’t get another one past him. They pulled the goalie late, the Leafs got one for Marner, and the Bruins drop another road game 5-2.
- Your TOI leader was Charlie McAvoy at 25:36 of total logged time with 18 minutes and change being five on five.
- Do I think Ullmark had a great game? He did really well to open the game and then the Leafs kind of identified a weakness of his that I’d argue was a problem. An .886 SV% kinda sucks but two goals were power play goals, one of which was effectively giftwrapped to Mitch Marner to send over to Auston Matthews, and one was literally gifted to the Leafs in the first period. What I am going to say is that a personal concern of his lateral movement in his crease isn’t going away, but he did the best he could, given the kind of help in front of him. Which is kind of the problem right now!
- Here’s the real story of the year so far: The Bruins have a miserable away record right now, and at least two problems are presenting themselves; number one, if the top 6 have anything less than even a B+ effort, it is entirely too easy for teams to shut the Bruins down. Most of the scoring is naturally bunched up where you’d expect it to be; Bergeron, Marchand, Pasta, Hall, Coyle...but after Mac, it starts to get really threadbare. Yeah, your depth isn’t gonna score every game and that’s normal and sometimes you’re not asking them to do that. I get that. What I don’t get is giving players who are obviously fighting it like Erik Haula ample special teams time, or Craig Smith doing mostly everything right and just...not getting any chances through. It’s infuriating that a problem that was supposedly dealt with this offseason just keeps coming back because either Bruce gets fixated on a player because they’re “Efforting hard” even when their effort is going toward nothing, or because they simply aren’t being asked to dangerously affect the net-front. Oskar Steen had another multi-point night in Providence last night. I think it’s time he saw some action back in the NHL, and critically in the role of one of the bottom six centers.
- That other problem is that the blueliners, as a whole, need to be better. Sure we can kvetch about Clifton’s high-event style causing you to pull your hair out or Gryz being wildly out of position or an Errant Mike Reilly pass but straight up it’s affecting everybody. I think, in spite of some positive work on the part of the system, people are well on their way to souring on Derek Forbort being big for nothing and honestly kind of a miserable stickworker, Charlie McAvoy basically needs to be a Norris Candidate nightly, and Brandon Carlo has often found himself being just kind of...attending the game. Far too many errant decisions by defenders created the opportunities for the Leafs to win. And that’s a problem. A 23 shot third period doesn’t wipe out the fact that two of the nine shots you allowed went in, even if one was an empty netter. That’s on your defense.
- Whatever. Call up Steen, beat the Sens at home on Tuesday, all is at the very least forgiven if not forgotten.
- They must really like these awful thirds with zero understanding of color theory because they keep wearing them even if they’re just blegh.
- Get better Foligno and Tuukka, we miss you.