Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Lightning to face Boston Bruins in 2nd round

TORONTO ON- APRIL 23 General view prior to action between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Six of the Eastern Conference First Round in the 2018 Stanley Cup Play-offs at the Air Canada Centre After fatal attack in Toronto, Leafs fans pay tribute singing 'O, Canada'
Betsy Taylor | 27 April, 2018, 00:41

On David Pastrnak's third period goal, the Bruins' top line got back on track by returning to the basics. DeBrusk, with a sense of urgency, scored his second goal of the game to give the Bruins a 5-4 lead.

Matthews could only muster that one goal to go along with a solitary assist as the Leafs fell in seven games to the battle-tested Bruins in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs.

"We've got some more work to do", said goalie Frederik Andersen, who stopped 32 of 33 shots in Game 6 on Monday to help Toronto win 3-1 and prolong its season.

Boston, which led the series 3-1 before Toronto mounted a comeback to push the series to its limit, will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

BOSTON-Jake Gardiner looked like he wouldn't sleep for a long time, like his stomach would feel hollow and bottomless through some long summer nights.

In last nights game, Auston Matthews was a 56% possession player who took four shots. "It's the most important game of the season and I didn't show up". It was just one of those things where he never wanted Matthews and (Mitch) Marner together at any point in the regular season, and if he did, it was nearly to show people 'this is why I don't want it, because it won't work.' For whatever reason - there has to be a strong bond between a coach and his best players; there has to be a trust.

The Capitals and Penguins await the start of the second round, when they will play each other for the third straight postseason.

And then, with Boston on the power play, the Leafs stuck again - with Kasperi Kapanen tucking the puck past Rask following a defensive meltdown from Brad Marchand.


And then there's Charlie McAvoy, who was clearly still trying to find his game during this series after getting just four regular season games to shake off the rest of his knee-injury absence.

While the stats suggest he was unlucky in the series, the former No. 1 pick received extra attention from the Bruins, with Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy deploying centre Patrice Bergeron and hulking defenceman Zdeno Chara as much as possible when Matthews was on the ice.

Thinking back to the series now, it has been hard to point out the fact that Jake DeBrusk is just a 20-year-old rookie that is seeing his first bit of Stanley Cup Playoffs action. I thought I did things right for the most part and couldn't capitalize on the opportunities.

Leading 4-3 in Boston, one period away from erasing a 3-1 series deficit, and the Leafs ended up playing one of their worst periods of the playoffs, if not the season.

Ultimately, under leadership by a core group of veterans, the Bruins remained calm during the second intermission and recovered to put forth their best period of the series in the closing stanza. It will all be gravy because we now know just how bright the Bruins' future is for this playoff series and beyond.

"Just tough bounces - that breakaway goal just probably slid a couple inches by my skate there, third one went off a stick".

Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs and their star centre, there wouldn't be any aftershocks. "It seemed like everything I was doing ending up in the back of the net". So the guy pushing you out wants you to be safe, then he wants you to make plays. I let a lot of people down. And they lost to a team that aims to win a Stanley Cup this year.

The Bruins are 13-12 in Game 7s, with a 12-8 record at home.

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