2013 Playoffs

2013 Playoffs

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

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I was one of the more deflated Leafs fans after witnessing game 1 of this Leafs-Bruins playoff series. I knew Boston previously matched up like kryptonite against the Leafs, and the game went pretty much exactly as I envisioned in my head; essentially, it was an extension of the last dozen or so matchups against the Bs. Then Game 2 happened. And, even after last night’s Game 3 loss, I now consider myself considerably less pessimistic. Let’s break down the goals against from last night: Goal #1 was of the “shit happens so flush it” variety. A lost draw, a strange...

144

Toronto put up a valiant effort in their first home playoff game in far too long. Despite finally outshooting their opponents, the Maple Leafs paid the price for a handful of individual, but egregious errors. The Bruins regained their home ice advantage with the victory, but the Leafs sustained offensive pressure and created numerous chances with nearly fifty shots on the night.  In short - tonight's tilt was reminiscent in many ways of the positives from game two, with a scattering of costly turnovers that were the trademark of game one. 1. Despite a loss on the night, Randy Carlyle's coaching changes...

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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...

411

Lee Stempniak, Andrew Raycroft, Vesa Toskala, Jonas Gustavsson, Brett Lebda, John Ferguson Jr. Those and others like them have plagued the Maple Leafs for the past eight seasons and gave us fits of hopelessness, despair, and rage. Tonight represents the the culmination of Toronto’s retooling; the first playoff game in the Air Canada Centre since May 4th, 2004. As much as our excitement over a first round series has been mocked , it’s generally falling on deaf ears. Are we over doing it for a first round series? I don’t think so. I think the hockey world is just getting...

771

Seems nobody told the Leafs this wasn’t supposed to be much of a series. Toronto stole home ice advantage from Boston with a thrilling 4-2 win last night and if the first playoff game back in Toronto didn’t already hold enough intrigue, it's now going to be officially bonkers. Here are some notes and points of discussion from one of the Leafs' best games of the season: - After game 1, I noted Chiarelli's quote about the Leafs being a faster team than Boston and how the Bruins were trying to trap their speed. Well, game 2 had so many great examples...

381

For anyone rubbing their eyes and waking up this morning, I can confirm that what you saw last night was NOT a dream. It was dream-like, but not actually a dream. It happened. The Leafs won their first playoff game since 2004 and in the process beat the Bruins in Boston for the first time in over two calendar years. Phil Kessel scored his first goal at evens against the Bruins, and he waited until the playoffs, in the third period (representing the game winner), to do it. Building off his last game, Mikhail Grabovski had his best performance of the...

Phil Kessel

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Playoffs – Game 2. They say that nothing goes wrong in the playoffs until you lose a game at home. Advantage: Leafs. After 6 periods of hockey, the Buds return home with a slight edge in the series after splitting Boston. Your Game In 10 is down below. 1) The Leafs are 1-0-1 and this was the first Leafs' playoff win since April 30th, 2004. Revel in it, Leafs Nation. 2) The game got off to a quick start and the Leafs showed better jump right from the get go. That said, they needed a couple of big saves from Reimer...

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The three day break has given us much time to digest the events of Wednesday night. The Leafs can draw inspiration from the inexperienced Islanders last night with the way that team was blown out in game 1, looked to be in the process of getting blown out early in game 2, fought back, and now find themselves on equal footing in a best of five series against the heavily favoured Penguins. All we can do is hope the Leafs make the necessary adjustments and find something more within themselves tonight in Boston. Speaking of adjustments, Paul Hendrick reports Jake...

480

Well, that was a rude awakening wasn’t it? Here we were all were excited and pumped up about playoff hockey… Only to come crashing back to Earth watching the Leafs play like that. After the jump, I'll discuss the main narratives circulating right now and offer my two cents. From there I proceeded to re-watch the game – unfortunately — and have written out some additional notes. I'll wrap up with the biggest questions going into Game 2. *** Narratives: Leafs are inexperienced and not ready for playoff hockey. The Leafs were turning the puck over with regularity up the middle the ice on...

452

After last night there is no shortage of critics jumping on the uselessness of the likes of Mark Fraser, Mike Kostka, Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren and by extension the coach who continues to deploy them in his lineup. To varying degrees I have been frustrated with all of them at points throughout the season. The fact of the matter is that toughness did play an appreciable role in the Leafs success over the 48-game haul. Let’s forget facepunching for today. Without James Reimer there’s no Leafs playoffs, but without a simplification of the defensive game, an emphasis on winning...

528

Game 1 is in the books and after a brief moment of post-season exaltation that was nine years in the making, the Leafs were handed a 4-1 drubbing from the Beantown Bruins. ICYMI, here's the first ever Playoffs Game in 10 in MLHS history via Mislav. Not shockingly, this game resembled those from prior seasons, where 5-on-5 hockey looked like a Bruins powerplay, giveaways were in abundance, and the Leafs' top offensive players were unable to gain the Bruins zone with any sort of speed, aggression or consistency.  At certain points in the game, even the Bruins' fourth line had...

305

Here we are with the first ever PLAYOFF Game In 10 on MLHS. The Boston Bruins won three out of four regular season meetings between the two teams, but went 3-5-2 during the last 10 game stretch. Meanwhile, the Leafs entered the series with a 5-4-1 record. Let's examine the horror learning process that unfolded. 1) The Leafs are 0-0-1 and this was first post season meeting between these two teams since 1974. That series ended with a Bruins' sweep... gulp. 2) Not even 2 minutes into the game, Bozak (who left at one point and later returned to the lineup)...

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We are within 2 hours (update: 1 hour, 50 minutes) (update 1 hour, 49 minutes) (update 1 hour, 48 minutes) of the moment we've all been waiting for - Leafs playoff hockey. No official word on final lineup combinations as of yet but we'll update as soon as we know. Update: LINES JvR - Bozak - Kessel Lupul - Grabovski - Kulemin MacArthur - Kadri - Komarov McLaren - McClement - Orr Phaneuf - Gunnarsson Franson - Fraser Liles - Kostka Not a ton more to say about this that hasn't already been said, other than I hope the Leafs can weather the early storm. I don't want the...

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While they may support the hockey spawns of Satan, Bruins Daily was kind and smart enough to request some insight from MLHS for the upcoming Leafs-Bruins series. Declan Kerin answers their questions after the jump. Be sure to check out Bruins Daily for coverage on the Bruin side of things throughout the series. Bruins Daily: Thanks for taking the time out to do this with us. Obviously it’s been a while since the Leafs have made the playoffs, 2004 to be exact. How excited are Leafs fans in Toronto right now that playoff hockey is back in the great city...

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Well, here we are. Leaf Nation's 9 year wait for their team to make it to the post season is finally over and done with. Although this sensation is a welcomed one, many Leaf fans cannot help but now feel like they are in uncharted territory. Indeed, as every bold blue and white explorer ventures on, he confronts new challenges in his fandom. Every win will mean so much more, every loss will feel all the more painful. But, with time winding down to the first game of the playoffs, this becomes a territory of excitement. How far can they...

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Good Evening Everyone! Earlier today Michael and Jon had the chance to join Michael (Vintage Leaf Memories) and Matteo (We Want a Cup) on their Leaf Matters Podcast to preview Round One of the Playoffs.   Tune in to find out what we think on: What’s your ideal top line Who winds up on the 2nd (3rd?) defensive pairing Who will be the breakout players in the series Reimer or Rask Series Predictions   Give us a listen and check out the all of the episodes of Leaf Matters on Pod Almighty or iTunes. And thanks to Michael and Matteo for having us on.

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Since when do the Leafs do things the easy way, anyways? The truth is the Leafs made their bed on this one. All they had to do was beat Montreal at home on Saturday night to play the Habs and give everyone the series they wanted to see. They laid an egg. Boston blows a two goal lead against Washington and then lets in a late one against Ottawa to lose two games in a row and here we are. I don’t think the Leafs have a better chance at beating Boston than they did Montreal, but I’ll say...

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Beggars can’t be choosers I guess. And thanks to the Senators, instead of a historic matchup against the Canadiens the Leafs will be facing the bastards from Bean town. (Here’s a great recap of all of this seasons matchups). One year ago the articles on this series would be darker than Marc Savards house, but thankfully the Bruins have been falling down to Earth to the point that the Leafs have finally been able to grab a win off of them. Led by Chara, Bergeron, Rask and Jagr, it seems they’ll have the Leafs outmatched, and when you add in the...

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It’s official. The Leafs will face the Bruins in round one. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for the Habs on Tuesday. As much as the last four games against the Habs have been a mixed bag, the Leafs have been able to play their game and play to their strengths against Montreal. The Leafs have played the Bs much more competitively this season, but the Bruins have still been effective at negating the Leafs speed and skill up front, slowing them down and forcing them to grind for every goal. While the Bruins have backed into...

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Here are the playoff scenarios going into tonight: A Leaf regulation win is a big step toward Habs (4) vs. Leafs (5) in round one starting on Tuesday night, the first Leafs-Habs series since 1979 (oh lawd), but a Leafs regulation win would still require Boston to grab at least 1 point in their remaining 2 games in order for the Bruins to win the division and for Leafs vs. Habs to happen. A Leaf overtime or shootout win, because the Habs garner a point in this scenario, would require Boston to win ONE of their remaining TWO games or else it's Boston...