2013 Playoffs

2013 Playoffs

2013 NHL Playoffs coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs from Maple Leafs Hot Stove.

534

Crushed. I keep repeating that word in my head. Just letting it marinate until I can chew on it and get it through my system. My body is shaking from emotional exhaustion. This is the adrenaline wearing off, I’m pretty sure. Seeing Reimer on the ice face-down in despair… crushing. They couldn't score the knockout against the Boston Bruins. They have had our number for so fucking long. My dog is lying down next to me on the couch. He’s my crutch whenever I’m having a bad day. He’s an amazing dog. He is a mixture of a Poodle and Golden Retriever. He’s...

517

If you want to look back and find a Game 7 featuring the Leafs, you need to go back to 2004, the last time the Leafs made the playoffs. The Buds emerged victorious in a 4-1 win over Ottawa to  wrap up a first-round series win. Really, this game 7, the first against Boston in 57 years, should've ended much the same way. Instead, hearts were broken. This is the toughest Game in 10 I'll ever write. 1) The Leafs are... out. A shocking end to the series. If you aren't devastated, you aren't a Leafs fan. 2) The first powerplay of the...

1

Strap yourselves in. The biggest Leaf game in nearly a decade is just a few hours away. Do the Leafs have the momentum, is Boston frustrated, does Boston feel the pressure more, did their delayed flight help them or hurt them? It's all academic. Come puck drop tonight, this series is reset to a best of one and it comes down to who executes better over the 60 minutes. There is some talk of a Leafs defencemen being injured and possibly out tonight (speculation obviously being Gunnarsson with his nagging injury), as Korbinian Holzer has joined the team in Boston. There...

317

We’re going seven. How many Leafs fans would have gladly accepted a one-game winner takes all scenario for the Leafs at the start of this series? That’s where Toronto finds itself today. Few people gave the Leafs a serious chance to beat Boston, but here we are. After falling behind in the series 3-1 following a heartbreaking game 4 loss in overtime, the Leafs have battled back to tie up the series. Both teams started the game off tentatively as there were only 15 shots on net by the Leafs and Bruins combined after one period. Toronto started to pick it up...

218

After such a critical shortage of meaningful moments in the last decade for this hockey club, these last few days have been almost too much, too fast. Last night, the Leafs earned their first playoff home win in 9 years and the city went bonkers. Dion Phaneuf redeemed himself for his role in an OT loss last playoff home game - which at the time could have been the last this season - splatting yolk on the faces of certain media members eager to get an early start on their postmortem scapegoating of the most valuable members of the...

33

Think this was a long time coming? Game 7 baby. Click here to take in Maple Leaf Square's reaction to the Phaneuf and Kessel goals.

402

These Leafs will not go quietly. After another hard fought, fast-paced game with excellent goaltending, Toronto eked out a 2-1 win that has forced a seventh game tomorrow night back in Boston.  With standout performances from Reimer, Gardiner, et al., the Maple Leafs secured their first win on home ice of this postseason.  Hopefully, it won't be their last. -This was an intense situation for an extremely young and inexperienced team. As such, the early jitters were to be expected. This culminated in a JM Liles penalty, as he threw the puck over the boards, instantly ramping up the anxiety...

1148

With their backs against the wall, the Maple Leafs will look to force a seventh game by winning at home for the first time this postseason. Toronto will undoubtedly play with the desperation they showed for most of Friday night. The difference tonight will be that the Bruins are also starting to feel the pressure.  Boston will be throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the Leafs and James Reimer in an effort to close out this series.  With the continuing struggles of Seguin and Marchand, the offensive load will likely be carried by the Krejci line. At the other end...

446

The Leafs are back in Toronto down 3-2 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. One more win and it is back to Boston to determine the winner of what has already been an excellent display of hockey. I want to take a moment to praise Gardiner. Friday night’s game was the best I have ever seen Gardiner play. I noted a while ago that there were many issues plaguing Gardiner’s game that the coaching staff needed to iron out. From missing assignments to giving up strong body position on the walls, or simply not being physically engaged, it was a...

274

Pierre Lebrun of ESPN.com had an insightful in-depth chat with Wayne Gretzky on the growth of this Maple Leafs team and the work of head coach Randy Carlyle. Below are some worthwhile excerpts: On the Leafs playoff performance so far: "They’re up against a really good opponent, a team that’s just two years removed from winning the Cup, but any time you can win a Game 5 in that situation against a team of that caliber, obviously you’ve got character and it builds even more character," Wayne Gretzky told ESPN.com over the phone Saturday. "They’re legit. They’re playing on high emotion...

343

If you have been following along with my Notebooks since the playoffs started, you’ll know that I’ve continually asked if James Reimer was going to steal the Leafs a game at some point in this series. Well, he’s officially stolen one. Reimer ended up with 43 saves last night, helpeing the Leafs stave off elimination after the Bruins turned it on and launched 19 shots at him in the third period. He had two saves in particular – the toe save on Bergeron, and the knob save on Jagr — that were ten bellers. Reimer has played pretty well this...

456

We're headed back to Toronto for Game 6. The book isn't yet closed on this team's 2013 story as the Leafs continue to prove to their detractors that this season was no 48-game fluke. After three games in which the Leafs looked every bit Boston's match, early Leaf domination gave way for the James Reimer show as the Leafs finally got the reward for all of their endeavour. 1 - The Bruins came out of the gates with a strong 2 minutes, but the Leafs weathered the brief early storm and then completely dominated the play, pace and scoring...

1361

Do or die. Win or go home. Put up or shut up. . The Leafs look to keep things interesting in this series and give us all more Leaf playoff hockey to enjoy by extending the series past five games with a win tonight. The Leafs have a right to feel a little hard done by with this 1-3 series deficit. Point fingers at certain individuals if it's your thing, but the fact of the matter is that Toronto, despite looking every bit Boston's match over the last 3 games, has made the crucial mistakes that are costing them games. Boston...

437

The Toronto Maple Leafs face playoff elimination tonight, but have dug their heels in against the Boston Bruins and have “done a lot of good things” in the series according to Randy Carlyle.  From the perpetually unimpressed man who guided the team to a horrid crash and lottery finish and a playoff berth in less than 82 games, I’d call that high praise. With the Buds backs against the wall, here’s four thoughts ahead of the biggest game in the longest time. There must be 50 ways to lose in five If I might briefly eulogize the Montreal Canadiens 2013 season, they...

380

No matter what happens in the rest of the series, this much is clear: The Leafs have closed the gap on the Boston Bruins. Are they equal to or better than Boston? Probably not. But compared to where the Leafs were last year against Boston, this is a dramatic improvement. Last season the Leafs weren’t even in Boston’s stratosphere. Every game was embarrassing in every way possible - the scoreline, the physicality, the intimidation, the goalies, you name it. Even if Boston does end up winning this series in 5, there’s no question Toronto has made them work for...

274

I remember it like it was last night. An ill-timed pinch, two Bruins streaking out of the zone, and a "dagger" into the heart of Leafs Nation after an overtime in which the Leafs carried the play. This one is going to take some time to digest. Although the boys battled their tails off, and went toe-to-toe with one of the favourites in the East,  some mistakes and puck misfortune ultimately sealed the Leafs' fate after starting 2-0 up in a brilliant first period. I know this series isn't yet over, but here's what I learned about the Leafs after...

153

Toronto Maple Leafs came out strong, but ultimately fell to the Boston Bruins 4 – 3 in overtime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals.  The Leafs had no answer for David Krejci, who scored a hat trick to steal the victory from the Buds. The battle of Vezina snubs didn’t disappoint either, with James Reimer making 41 saves in the loss and Tuukka Rask again stopping a phenomenal 45 shots tonight. 1. The most regimented aspect of the game was the Anthem singer.  Sloppy play and both ends required James Reimer to stand on his head, especially...

Game #4, Boston Bruins at Maple Leafs

1254

Toronto looks for their 1st win on home ice in this series (and in 9 years) and you can expect that they will be a little less tight in the 1st period than they were in their 1st playoff game at the ACC on Monday night. Toronto has been getting progressively better during the series and looks to be the match of Boston if they play their system and don't gift them goals like did the entire game on Monday. The story of the game Monday was turnovers, clearly, and if Toronto can limit them—they lead the league in turnovers...

422

Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s down to this. The stakes are high as the Leafs have lost their home-ice advantage after a 5-2 Game 3 loss, and if the they lose tonight we might not see them on ACC ice until next season. As I'm writing this, I'm currently watching the Vancouver / San Jose game – it’s the 3rd period and the Canucks have just taken a one-goal lead.  As much as I dislike the organization and the fan-base that cheers for them, it’s impressive how Vancouver continues to throw themselves with abandon in front of pucks, along the boards,...

610

If the story of game 2 was the Leafs' excellent line-matching and the great performances from their stars, the story of game 3 was the Leafs shooting themselves in the foot. The simple fact of the matter is that when you make the mistakes the Leafs did, you are rarely going to win a playoff game. Alec already went through all of the goals against this morning so I’m not going bother doing that again. Plus, I think we all know what happened. Other than the first goal, which was the result of a lost faceoff and unfortunate bounce,...