GDT: Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game #3, Bruins @ Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

GDT: Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game #3, Bruins @ Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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The unexpected catharsis of Saturday’s night win in Boston has provided Leafs Nation with a much needed release of some tension and anger after game one’s eye-opening reality check.

The Leafs are now heading into Toronto tied with Boston after stealing home-ice advantage.  For the first time since 2004, our Toronto Maple Leafs will host a playoff game in the Air Canada Centre!

This series is now down to the best of five.

While many of us have held low expectations throughout the year, the glimpses of domination and strong team effort has raised the expectation that the Leafs can make some noise as a playoff dark horse.  For every forced narrative from the media, there’s another chapter ready to be read as the players etch their own post-season story on the ice.  Let’s hope the boys in blue can give us more smiles and laughter when we head to work tomorrow morning.

And your Toronto Maple Leafs!

Forwards:

Lupul-Bozak-Frattin

JVR-Grabovski-Kulemin

Hamilton-Kadri-Kessel

Komarov-McClement-Orr

Defense:

Gunnarsson-Phaneuf

Fraser-Franson

Gardiner-O’Byrne

Goalie

Reimer

What can we take away from Saturday’s night?  The city is going to be a-rockin’.   You probably saw a particular video floating around on twitter and message boards of a huge Maple Leafs Square crowd exploding in cheers and celebration as Kessel scored what would end up being the game’s winning goal.

And what do you know?  Kessel actually beat the Bruins in the playoffs!

While the win on Saturday night was not without some concern, it was a fantastic all-around effort by the boys to steal a win in Boston.  A huge amount of praise should go to Randy Carlyle for not just providing North American hockey fans with a masterpiece of coaching skill and tactics, but for identifying the need to become faster and harder to defend.  This comment from Kessel sums it up well:

Kessel said the strategy of switching constantly with Frattin was Carlyle’s idea and was introduced to the team on Thursday. But, he added, “there’s no secret” to getting the best of Chara. It is something that has to be the subject of hard work because Chara “is one of the best in the league every night.”

Let’s hope for more of the same from the Leafs and tighter control of their own end!

Go Leafs, Go!

Maple Leaf Square Live Stream

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins – Game 3 Live Stream