In the last 7 games versus the Bruins, the Leafs are 2-3-2. In those games, former Bruin Phil Kessel has but one assists. There is just something about the Bruins that the Leafs have extreme difficulty dealing with. That something is a combination of terrific goaltending; Rask .944 sv% in 4 games, and Thomas .921 sv% with 1 shutout in 3 games; terrific defense led by Zdeno Chara who is apparently made out of Leafs kryptonite; and a team strategy that is perfectly suited to play the Leafs. When you play the Bruins, you know you're getting a boring shutdown first, counter-attack second type of a game. That stacks up great against a team like Toronto who generate most of their scoring chances off of the rush. It's hard to rush into 3 or 4 people spread out over the offensive zone blueline.
There are many games that are uphill battles before the start based solely on the matchup; if you always through rock and the other guy paper, you're going to lose. If you're super aggressive in chess and your opponent plays defensively and unwilling to trade, you're going to lose. If you have a delicate combo deck and your opponent is playing Merfolk backed up with tons of counter magic, you're going to lose. (Yeah, I used to play MTG. I'm a nerd. I understand that.)
Unfortunately for us, Boston is the paper to Toronto's rock. The five remaining games against them are already uphill battles.
Links after the jump.
I would have trouble believing anything different
Should have been thanking Burke and Chiarelli
11 - Secondary scoring is desperately needed
Of course you do, and MLHS is having a contest for you to win some
Suite101 with a breakdown of why it happened
VLM with another good look at how the Leafs today are like the Leafs of seasons past