Game in 10: Game #17, Bruins 3 vs. Maple Leafs 1

Game in 10: Game #17, Bruins 3 vs. Maple Leafs 1

Photo: Getty Images via NHL.com

Returning to the scene of the catastrophe, this game was in some ways a microcosm of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series last May. The Leafs were badly overmatched at first, started to figure the Bruins out as the game wore on, but ultimately fell short. In the end, the Leafs fell 3-1 and move to 11-6-0 on the season. The offense has dried up on the Leafs as of late, scorers of just two goals in their last three games. Loss aside, this is a fun if frustrating rivalry (we all know the Bruins have mastered the art of getting away with dirty plays). 80 hits were thrown between the two teams and many of some magnitude.

1 – The Bruins dominated the first period. The Bruins were controlling pace of play (i.e. slowing it down and playing their game) with good puck management, clean breakouts and an effective chip game. Their forecheck was forcing turnover after turnover. The Leafs had one good chance, when Gardiner slipped into the slot unmarked. If he could have another shot at it, he probably would have taken it to the backhand for the empty net finish rather than one timing the puck into Rask.

2 – In the second half of the first period, the Leafs spent 2:10 straight in their own zone, as the Bruins were just cycling them into the ground with Ranger-Fraser on the ice and Kulemin wandering around without a stick (he passed his off to Ranger). Every Leaf was exhausted, standing still, and praying for a whistle, or the period to end, or something. I watched Fraser touch the puck and hand it back over three times on that shift. The Bruin siege led to a powerplay, which they inevitably scored on. Chara giving the Leafs fits in front brought back painful memories.

3 – What an amazing second period from the Leafs. So much to like in their 18-shot effort that stemmed from a similar territorial dominance to what the Bruins imposed on the Leafs in the first. Phaneuf got things moving in the right direction with two great hits four minutes into the second, which is becoming a positive trend from the Captain when his team is down and looking lifeless. Once the Leafs could actually string some passes together coming out of their zone, they were able to establish a forecheck, cycle and outskate the Bruins as we know they can.

More of this going forward, Leafs. Please, for the love of God, more of this.

4 – Finally, the Leafs got their reward with three minutes left in the second period. The play started after a great stick by Paul Ranger to break up an attack, before his flip pass sent Lupul on a rush the other way. Lupul turned the puck up ice  and drove to the outside of Dennis Seidenberg. Joffrey saw some room shortside-high on Rask and roofed it.

5 – The game kind of hinged on a double minor penalty JvR took at the end of the second period when he got his stick up high battling a Bruin in front of the net. JvR was getting chippy after he was taken down by Marchand in the first, and he seemed to be a ticking time bomb headed toward an undisciplined penalty. Fraser and Ranger made a mess of their net front coverage on the PK (Ranger fell over Reimer) and it was 2-1 Bruins.

6 – The game got downright dirty in the final 10 minutes, and it was mostly the Bruins’ doing. Elbow to the face of Ashton, high hit on Kadri, high stick to the face of Lupul, cross check to the back of the head of Gardiner, hit from behind on Clarkson… the one thing that got called was a cheap little hook on Lupul. The Leafs landed one good hit when Franson cleared out Marchand (I think it was Marchand, going from memory) as he tried to drive the net shorthanded.

7 – The Leafs could not get anything going on their two third period powerplays, one of which they were forced to use Smithson for because Kadri had to be checked out in the dressing room. Toronto was just gassed in the third period; Phaneuf’s play exemplified it, as he was so good for the Leafs for much of the night but just had nothing left on the final few shifts.

8 – I said before the game that Carlyle made a mistake not playing Rielly in this game (over Fraser). The best way to diffuse the Bruin pressure is with defencemen who can move their legs, evade a forechecker, move the puck through traffic, and join the attack. I thought we learned this lesson last May. It’s the only way the Leafs can beat the Bruins, who are fierce on the forecheck and well-organized defensively with ample backside pressure. One personnel decision does not a game break, but it sure didn’t help. Fraser-Ranger spent a lot of time in their own end tonight (primarily matched up against Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly).

9 – The Gardiner-Franson pairing knows how to handle the Bruins. Both are able to move the puck against the Bruin forecheck and seem to elevate their physical games. Gardiner is the tonic to the Bruins; his speed and puck moving ability is huge and he can get away with pinching (which he did a number of times, effectively) against a team that can’t burn you with speed. Fraser, on the other hand, really struggled in the playoff series under the trademark Bruin forecheck pressure, and he had a poor game tonight; he struggled to get his feet moving and struggled to move the puck safely under the heat applied by the Bruins.

10 – The Leafs scoring depth is obviously damaged by the losses of Bolland and Bozak. It’s a little disappointing, however, that the likes of Nikolai Kulemin and David Clarkson have been unable to grind out a dirty goal or two for this team as of yet. Mason Raymond and Nazem Kadri are also pointless in the last three. Uncharacteristically bad night for the Leafs special teams, as well.

The Leafs are off until Wednesday, before another back-to-back next weekend (the schedule is BS).

Leafs-vs-Bruins-Shot-Data

Leafs vs. Bruins - November 9, 2013

Bruins 3 vs. Leafs 1.
NO.PLAYERPOSGAP+/-PIMSHITSBKSGVATKAFO%PPTOISHTOITOI
2M. FraserD0001022210-0:00:001:32:0018:36:00
3D. PhaneufD000-1025202-4:13:002:39:0024:48:00
4C. FransonD000-1026100-2:51:000:25:0017:45:00
11J. McClementC000121211053%0:00:002:10:0017:46:00
12M. RaymondL0000031011-2:44:000:57:0017:46:00
15P. RangerD0111005110-0:00:000:56:0018:41:00
19J. LupulR101008110025%3:16:000:00:0021:24:00
21J. van RiemsdykL000-141301043%3:16:000:21:0018:58:00
22J. SmithsonC000000120050%0:30:002:34:008:50:00
36C. GunnarssonD0000003200-1:35:002:28:0020:39:00
37C. AshtonR0000025100-0:00:000:00:0012:49:00
38F. McLarenL0000500000-0:00:000:07:002:07:00
40T. BodieR0000000000-0:00:000:00:002:50:00
41N. KuleminL0000013400100%0:00:001:51:0018:28:00
43N. KadriC000-101200147%2:14:000:00:0018:13:00
51J. GardinerD0000070000-3:21:000:00:0019:31:00
71D. ClarksonR00005130100%2:44:000:00:0016:01:00
81P. KesselC0000031041-3:16:000:00:0021:11:00
Goalie
NO.PLAYEREVPPSHSAVESSV%PIMTOI
34J. Reimer (L) 4-2-026 - 265 - 70 - 031 - 330.939059:37:00
Boxscore    
1ST PERIOD
15:27BOSPPG - Zdeno Chara (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Jarome Iginla (7), Torey Krug (4)1 - 0 BOS
2ND PERIOD
16:52TORJoffrey Lupul (8) Snap shot - ASST: Paul Ranger (4)1 - 1 Tie
3RD PERIOD
1:05BOSPPG - Patrice Bergeron (4) Snap shot - ASST: Carl Soderberg (5), Reilly Smith (9)2 - 1 BOS
19:38BOSEN - Patrice Bergeron (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Loui Eriksson (3), Brad Marchand (4)3 - 1 BOS
Review overview
Goaltending - 85 %
Special Teams - 25 %
Even Strength - 70 %
Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
721 comments
Cameron19
Cameron19

I must say, Hertl is a really impressive player.  He's not even being cushioned by the big stars anymore, and he's still producing like mad. 

Zep2
Zep2

Preds and Isles goaltenders post sterling .870 or so  S% tonite. 

You can't get enough goaltending

Gauthier with 2 apples tonite. Now at ppg clip

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

I see Lievo has another goal tonight and Abbott with 2 apples but they are down 3-2

mike_84
mike_84

Any new rumours pop up today?

ingy56
ingy56

....and he misses

ingy56
ingy56

Penalty shot for Gagne coming up.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

Florida up on the Rags 2-1 and Colorado up 1-0 on the Caps 

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

Preds down 3-0 .....really missing Rinne I guess

ingy56
ingy56

Islanders score..3-2 Scabs

ingy56
ingy56

"Hey Keith...how do you spell Hemsky?" Keith: " A-C-T-O-N"

whalz
whalz

-3 for HOLZER.....that guy just hit a wall....

mike_84
mike_84

@Burtonboy Lievo looks like he's gonna be a damn good player. He should make the team next year. Prob takes Raymond or Kulis spot depending on if they resign.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Yaknowwhat Pass. Not that I don't like the trade values or anything, just not a lot of interest in Gagner with that contract. 

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

Gagner is worth more than 1 year of Kulemin and Holzer/Blacker are essentially worthless. I don't see gagner as a fit here anyways.

ingy56
ingy56

@Yaknowwhat I'm not good on these trade scenarios but I'm not sure it would work cap-wise and it could mean they wouldn't have room to re-sign Bolland next season. I also think they'd have to add to that package to land Gagne, probably a pick or another prospect. 

ingy56
ingy56

@Yaknowwhat ...and he can also pick Dad up from golf/hockey tournaments:)

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@ingy56 Weird the official Oilers twitter account had him scratched 

Cameron19
Cameron19

@whalz He was just the first star of the game on Tuesday...but yea, does seem to have stalled out. 

docyqx
docyqx

@Cameron19 @mike_84 

ohhhh now this might be dangerous............but....

Cam, I'm starting to agree with you on more than just what day it is....

docyqx
docyqx

@Cameron19 @Yaknowwhat 

I prefer not to help other teams fix THEIR mistakes and take on players that are no better than what the leafs have IN HOUSE at the moment...just me

Cameron19
Cameron19

@CanuckUKinToronto @Yaknowwhat I love Kulemin, but we probably can't afford him next year.  I really liked him in the 2nd period last night for the few shifts they put him with Kadri and Lupul. 

whalz
whalz

id rather bring back Hayes (big centre)

Cameron19
Cameron19

@whalz Any of them would be great.  Although, I like Omark and Hamill the least. 

whalz
whalz

linus omark?

landon ferraro

tomas jurco

luke adam

jason jaffrey

jimmy hayes

zack hamil

these are the types of players i think would be in same situations with their current teams

Cameron19
Cameron19

@whalz We should trade him for a similar forward prospect.  We need scoring help. 

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Burtonboy He's not in tonight?  Didn't he score a goal and end up a plus player the last few games?

whalz
whalz

what happened to him then? just playing shitty ?? seemed like he was top dman prospect not far off......

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@whalz If he was playing well enough he would be in the line up . 

whalz
whalz

im getting tired of this Steve Spott   WTF is Blacker? NONIS said last yr hes almost ready and he has hardly played this yr....unless hes injured?

docyqx
docyqx

@Cameron19 @docyqx @mike_84 

oh yeah, well, there was a tough loss last night, folks do tend to knee jerk after that....i'm all for improvement on the team, but for some reason, I think Nonis and his advisors are better equipped than I am to make that choice, LOL

ohhh...and getting worked up...only shows ya care, hehe

Cameron19
Cameron19

@docyqx @Cameron19 @mike_84 Ha, good to know. I do feel bad about how worked up I get on here some days, but man, there was some crazy stupidity going on today.