Back half of a back to back against the Bruins. A lot of Bs in that one. A lot of Bs in the game as well. It was a second game in as many nights, but I canâ€™t excuse the team for the mistakes made that had nothing to do with energy but rather hockey systems and fundamentals. Only then can we look at the effort, which wasnâ€™t there from the start. Against teams like Boston, that counts.
1 â€“ The Leafs are 4-1-1 and it seems like it was only yesterday I was talking about how not going full speed from the puck drop against better teams most often equals an L on the board. Ok, it was four days ago. You know, Chara shouldnâ€™t be allowed to play hockey. It seems wrong and unfair somehow.
2 â€“ Thornton and Orr went at it early and the fight ended with no clear winner. Staged or not, it certainly got the Bruins into it.
3 â€“ Fantastic shift by Kadri on the Steckel goal. He kept battling, got the puck and threw a prefect feed for Steckel, who picked the corner on Thomas. Frattin takes an ill-advised penalty and gets the ball rolling for the Bees. Heâ€™s young, heâ€™ll learn, moving on. Other than that, he was one of the most dangerous players on the ice and deserves praise.
4 â€“ This has been really irking me of late so here: Bad defensive positioning in front of the net. Not boxing them out, staying on the outside, allow screening, and not clearing the crease. Repeat. First Boston PP goal: Horton beats Gardiner to the puck and puts it in. Third Boston goal: Kelly beats Franson to the puck, has three (3) whacks at it as Franson epically fails to clear him from in front of the net. Coverage on the sixth (Seguin) goal was horrific.
5 â€“ 18-8 in the faceoff circle in favor of Boston in the first explains why we spent most of it in our own zone and why Boston built an early 3-1 lead. Good response come the middle of the second period was a positive.
6 â€“ Yes, it was back to back and yes, it was a freaky flight to Boston, but it doesnâ€™t change the fact that the team once again bailed on Gustavsson who did everything possible to keep it close. But for the most part, it was Boston vs. Gus.
7 â€“ After not playing a competitive game for a while now, itâ€™s worth mentioning Kadriâ€™s effort and play tonight. I really liked it, he played with confidence and drew penalties. Good stuff. Schenn had a bounce back game, being +2 in a 6-2 loss means you did something right.
8 â€“ This game did nothing to answer the epic question: Who won the Kessel trade? Seguin played well, had a goal, assist, dominated play at times aaaaaaaand Kessel just leads all forwards in almost every major statistical category. Hm. Still canâ€™t score against Boston though.
9 â€“ Grabo got some consolation and stopped the Kessel chants late in the game with a shot of a good feed from Jake the Snake. Congratulations to Jake Gardiner for getting his first NHL point, but I doubt heâ€™ll want to remember this one.
10 â€“ To put things into perspective, we were playing a reigning Stanley Cup champion team that got brought together by their loss to Carolina. We knew this was going to be a tough game. But, this is what a tough, Cup winning/contending team looks like and we have to be prepared to play 110% against such teams. That didnâ€™t happen tonight, moving on. Also, the Bruins are not perfect, nobody plays perfect hockey. They too coughed up pucks, scrambled, etc., but what makes them a Cup team is the consistency of their effort through 60 minutes.