I hate the Boston Bruins.
That probably goes without saying as a Maple Leafs fan, but I really, really, really, hate the Boston Bruins. It’s not like, I loathe them, or I dislike them, I put all the hate I have in my soul and push it in the direction of the Boston Bruins. I hate their stupid logo. I hate their stupid jerseys. I hate their smarmy, smug broadcast team. I hate their owner. I hate their players. I hate their captain. I hate their pest. I hate their goalie.
I do love their arena renovations though.
I thought I should get my biases out in the open before the rest of this recap.
The game began with a ceremony honouring Canadian tennis player and US Open winner Bianca Andreescu, where permanent Alternate Captain Morgan Rielly took the ceremonial face-off.
@Bandreescu_ drops the puck ahead of the game #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/2UW6iWOYf6— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 19, 2019
With Captain John Tavares out of the line up with a broken finger, Mitch Marner gets to play on Auston Matthews’ wing to start the game, and on the second line we have William Nylander giving Alex Kerfoot a spin as his new centre.
The third line of Kasperi Kapanen - Jason Spezza - Trevor Moore gets the Leafs their first real chance, as Moore gets the puck out from behind the Bruins net and Kapanen tries to shoot, but the puck gets deflected up high.
Of course before that happened, the Bruins got four point shots off, but I hate them and they were weak shots, so whatever.
The Leafs are chasing the Bruins through the first five minutes, with the visitors getting more offensive one time, and the Leafs being able to tip or knock the puck across the blue line, but can’t get control after that.
That, however was the first five minutes. At the 14 minute mark, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner combine to distract the front of the net while Morgan Rielly takes a point shot that deflects off Brandon Carlo as he dances with the Leafs forwards in front of Jaroslav Halak:
The Leafs have woken up now, but the Bruins aren’t backing off and Frederik Andersen makes a great stop on Jake DeBrusk.
Freddie with a big toe save #Leafs X #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/P5kiWeVvYQ— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 19, 2019
While the Bruins are outshooting the Leafs, they’re also trying to get under the team’s skin. It isn’t working, as the Leafs just brush them off.
Johnsson gets the crosscheck on Pastrnak while Matthews glides in with a "Get outta my way" vibe #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/75n2Cp2N1B— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 19, 2019
The Leafs are bringing the play much closer in to the net than the Bruins are, William Nylander can’t corral the bouncing puck, it could have been 2-0...
Nylander gets close to making it 2-0 #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/nNxCNAIFx7— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 19, 2019
There’s no starting late tonight as the Leafs are getting some quality and garbage shots on net throughout the first period. They’re also continuing to do a good job of not playing the Bruins’ game as Trevor Moore skates past Brad Marchand, who throws some stick checks on his back but can’t keep up.
The Leafs are turning the tables on the Bruins, who haven’t been able to get a shot on net for almost ten minutes. They’re getting better chances thanks to the great work of Morgan Rielly tonight, and even little Trevor Moore is trying to body check Zdeno Chara. He can’t, tonight, but he’s done it before.
Watching Trevor Moore (5’10”) demolish Chara (6’9”) is giving me life. pic.twitter.com/DR9bI7uDna— maple trees (@mapletreeleafs) April 12, 2019
The fourth line wants some attention tonight, and they get it when Dmytro Timashov scores his first NHL goal, but beating Halak high glove side. I guess the book is out on Jaro.....
As the clock ticks down to the end of the first period, the Bruins start the pressure on the Leafs. First Andersen makes a leg pad save through a screened shot, but Jake DeBrusk will score his first of the season shortly after.
The period ends with a close attempt on the Bruins net, but no goal.
The Leafs don’t slow down a bit as the second period begins, coming after the Bruins net until Kerfoot gets called for holding, giving the Bruins their first power play of the game. Or not, as the refs clear things up that it’s Timashov that gets the penalty.
It doesn’t matter much, as the Leafs PK does a good job to force the puck into the Bruins end, and keep the evil Bostonians from scoring.
After the PP ends, the Bruins pick up their game, and start putting more pressure on the Maple Leafs, and giving more work for Andersen. Halfway through the period the shots are 10-6 for the Bruins.
Nick Shore puts the Bruins back on the power play as he’s called for tripping former Maple Leaf Par Lindholm.
The power play starts well for the Bruins as David Pastrnak fools a lot of people with what looks like a goal, but thankfully wasn’t. The two power plays being so close back to back is giving the Bruins more chances to build up their game. With a quick two shots on Andersen the power play ends.
Solid read from Kapanen on Krug #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/fYWpKkkQRx— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
Andreas Johnsson plays the most dangerous game by blocking a Brandon Carlo shot with the side of his leg, and he immediately goes down hard on the ice and hobbles back to the bench.
Andreas Johnsson with a big block off the slap shot #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/sl6hlFz53V— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
Andersen is getting a big workout not, as the Bruins won’t let up and the Leafs are scrambling a bit to keep the puck out of their own end. It’s not a lot of big dangerous moves from Boston, but just enough to not let Freddie rest.
Freddie is in D-zone #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/smUduwf7hY— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
Andreas Johnsson is back on the ice, having walked it off, and gets sent a pass, but he falls over while trying to take the shot. Good try!
The Bruins pick up speed to get into the Leafs zone, but are completely careless as David Backes knocks into Andersen and puts his head into the crossbar. The referee’s arm goes up, but Martin Marincin comes to defend Andersen and gets an offsetting penalty for his troubles, because the Bruins can never actually get a penalty.
Dubas doesn't like that it's 4 on 4 #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/ImaLvrpfeN— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
The four on four hockey doesn’t give us a goal from either team, which is both good and bad. The first period ends without much from the Maple Leafs, more from the Bruins, and a hundred thousand enraged Maple Leafs fans.
Oh, and the entire final minute was spent in the Leafs zone, and there was an incredibly weak hooking call on Martin Marincin.
Shots were 14-3 that period for the Bruins.
I hate the Bruins.
The Bruins open the third period on a stupid power play but the Maple Leafs’ PK and Andersen keep the Bruins from scoring for 1:58 of the power play, then Danton Heinen scores as Andersen dives for the puck early. That’s how the period begins.
Also, Johnsson does not return for the third period.
Oh hey! Here’s some good news, the Maple Leafs score right away!
Alex puts in some fancy Kerfoot-work to put the Leafs up by one!
The hockey is fast and furious as the Leafs try to hold onto their lead.
Kapanen goes for a spin in the neutral zone but ends up with the puck on the zone entry #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/GSW1deV2uR— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
The Bruins are getting a bit too much time to set up their shots in the Leafs zone, and getting too much time in that end of the ice. Halfway through the period, the shots are just 5-2, but it feels like it’s been too much Bruins to this blogger.
As I write that sentence, the Leafs get some good pressure in the Bruins zone, getting chances to set up and make passes, but not score a goal.
Also, this happened:
The was trying to use Charlie Coyle as a #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/1vKbNInVsp— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
Ilya Mikheyev almost gets on the scoreboard, after fighting through the Bruins to get to Halak, who almost bungles the save, but the jumping puck stays out of the net.
Mikheyev nearly gets one past Halak on the breakaway #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/iDfTG8nQuv— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
Charlie McAvoy and Mitch Marner get a little pushey-shovey with each other, McAvoy loses a helmet in the process.
Later on, David Pastrnak gets a pass from Brad Marchand and scores with a one timer from the point.
The Leafs try to respond by dumping the puck into the Bruins zone, where Kasperi Kapanen gets it and tries to get it into the net, but Halak holds tight against the post and keeps it out.
The Bruins try to score, but as Marchand is trying to elbow Andersen in the head, Jake Muzzin grabs his face and drops him to the ground and shockingly, does NOT get a penalty.
It's so subtle but you can see Marchand get his elbow up #Leafs #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/itYOiFDaic— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
The third period ends, and we go to overtime.
Five minutes to win the game.
The first one has the Bruins making all the offensive attempts.
As the second one begins, Morgan Rielly goes deep and gives Mitch Marner a solid chance at scoring. The Bruins send it out, but Andersen jumps out of the net and gets the puck far away from the attacking Bruin.
The third begins with Kapanen coming down the boards fast, and Mikheyev almost scoring, but Halak holds the puck for the whistle. Our first stoppage of OT. Off the face off, Timashov almost ends it with the puck going wide, and the Leafs stay in control of the puck as they make a change.
With two minutes left, the Leafs are once again putting pressure on Halak, as Auston Matthews comes in one on one with DeBrusk who clips the shot up high.
As we approach the final minute of play, Mitch Marner scores off a Matthews behind the net pass to win the game in overtime!
#LeafsForever goal and win— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) October 20, 2019
Matthews feeds it to Marner for the one-timer winner #Leafs pic.twitter.com/skptHk3KgB
The game wasn’t the Leafs best, but it was a win over the Bruins, and that’s a pretty awesome win to get.
The Maple Leafs next game is Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7PM. Which of course is game one of a back to back with game two being against the Bruins. In Boston.
Just win on Monday, alright?