Game One sent Leafs nation into a tailspin. The night before, there was a profound sense of optimism and determination to will our favourite team to a victory. Unfortunately, Boston dominated, JVR lost his mouthguard, Brad Marchand licked Leo Komarov, yadda yadda yadda, welcome to Saturday.
What will be the message from Mike Babcock ahead of puck drop tonight? Well, probably something similar to what he said Thursday, but with a little more bite to it. Nobody likes, ‘I told you so’s,’ but sometimes having things play out in certain circumstances does a lot more than a 10-item list of warnings.
Babs doesn‘t have to tell the Leafs what awaits them anymore; they experienced it. The next step is to learn, respond, and find a way to come back to Toronto with a 1-1 series tie.
All that will have to be done without Nazem Kadri who was given a three-game suspension for his hit on Tommy Wingels. No surprise there.
We got a chance to see what the Leafs will be rolling with for Game Two without Kadri in the lineup at yesterday’s practice. Komarov is going to get reacquainted with Marchand fairly soon if the line matching game continues. However, Babcock believed that was the best choice moving forward. Can’t argue with him, he’s the coach.
Babcock on promoting Komarov to Matthews line:— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 13, 2018
"He was competitive last night and we’re trying to get the most competitive people involved as much as we possibly can."
Also notes that Leo has familiarity in match-up v Bergeron line
Speaking of line matching though, you may have noticed the few times the Leafs fourth was on at the same time as Boston’s first. Less than ideal situation to say the least, and one of those instances cost a goal. Was that on purpose or by accident? Again we hear from the coach.
Babcock on putting Plekanec line on for late D-zone draw in 2nd:— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 13, 2018
"It wasn’t like I was avoiding that at all. I thought that was a real good situation for us. They’re supposed to be able to start in the D zone ..."
B's countered with Bergeron line & Pastrnak scored 3-1 goal pic.twitter.com/3n2PXya32h
Message delivered, and hopefully, it’s sent. The Leafs are coming into this game arguably weaker than their last, but this is what the playoffs are all about. A nice slice of adversity pie never hurt anyone, and for the players on the team, perhaps it’s needed.
P.S. Leafs offside reviewer person...you’re on notice.
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