Leafs 3 Bruins 2 (SO) - Thank You Kessel

TORONTO CANADA - DECEMBER 4: Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores shoot-out winnn goal against Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins during game action at the Air Canada Centre December 4 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images)


Final - 12.4.2010 1 2 3 OT SO Total
Boston Bruins 1 0 1 0 (1-3) 0 2
Toronto Maple Leafs 1 0 1 0 (2-3) 1 3

Complete Coverage >



The Leafs squeaked by one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and did it the hard way. The Leafs outshot, outhit, outhustled and outchanced the Boston Bruins consistently. Jay Rosehill and Colby Armstrong looked like robots from the future designed solely to be annoying.

In the game in six you can see that Rosehill attempted to hit Gregory Campbell through the boards before answering the bell against Shawn Thornton. Not shown in the game in six was a sequence of Colby Armstrong in front of Tim Thomas shoving Zdeno Chara and then making a pouty face and fake crying at him after the whistle.

I don't care about intangibles at all but Colby Armstrong brought a willingness to go to the hard areas right in front of the net last night and yapped at the Bruins all night long with a smile on his face. For his salary that's exactly what he has to do but it pretty clearly sparked the team. Watch the tying goal as Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski overload the crease and block Johnny Boychuck from getting to Kris Versteeg.

Personally I thought we were going to get Tim Thomased last night. The Leafs threw everything at the net and Thomas made highlight reel save after highlight reel save. Jim Hughson couldn't stop telling us that the Bruins were the third best defensive team in the NHL which is nonsense.

The Bruins give up more shots on their net per night (33.6) than everyone except Carolina, Anaheim, Atlanta and Edmonton. The difference between Boston and those teams is that one of their goalies is putting up video game numbers with a .956 save percentage and their backup has a .926. Tim Thomas has a 1.46GAA. Behind the Leafs defense at 28.1 SA/G his GAA would fall to 1.22.

Don't even attempt to say complete garbage like "well the Bruins don't give up quality chances". The Leafs didn't give up easy tap in chances like the one that saw Carl Gunnarsson open all alone in the first period or the chance that Francois Beauchemin will have haunt his nightmares in OT.

The shootout saw Nazem Kadri undress the best goaltender in the league with a fantastic backhand move before Phil Kessel sealed the deal by backing Thomas into the net and literally shooting the puck through him. Tyler Seguin put a nice move on Giguere but his teammates couldn't muster anything.

Slava Duris is kind enough to track scoring chances and noted this:

In the last 32:17 minutes of the game, the Leafs outchanced the Bruins 22-2.  As Nik Borschevksy once said, "Unbelieveable" - The Leafs Nation

The Leafs didn't give up a scoring chance shorthanded and Kris Versteeg finally beat Thomas with seconds remaining on the clock on the power play. Nice to be positive in special teams even for just a night. The Leafs controlled play the entire game and took home two points they earned. 

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