Toronto Maple Leafs @ Boston Bruins
07:00 PM at TD Garden

The last game in this series was in Boston on April 20, which Toronto lost by a score of 5-1 in regulation. The series stands at 1-0.


Let's talk goalies. The general discussion about the Bruins this year has painted the goaltending with a vision a year out of date. The stunning league-topping results from Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark last year were not repeated. But beyond that fact, Ullmark came away with the reputation as the excellent goalie and Swayman as just good. That's likely false, particularly in their brief playoffs, but that expectation has persisted for this playoff series.

They were 3rd and 5th for goalies with at least 30 games played by GSAX. But their results in that measure are a big drop from Connor Hellebuyck's .557 that marks him out as the top goalie. No one is getting any pucks past him this playoffs!

The Bruins tandem is as identical as you can get this year, and while Jim Montgomery isn't going to give away his goalie plans, it doesn't matter a great deal.

Since I'm using Moneypuck's numbers to compare the goalies, I'll stick with that for how Swayman fared in the first game. They show the all-situations Expected Goals in that game to be 7-4. I like to round that sort of thing off because goals come without decimal places. Oh, sorry, that's 7-4 for Toronto. You might not have realized.

When you watch a game where the score does not match the probability based on how the teams are shooting, you almost have to come away with a skewed view of how the teams played in general. Also probability based on shots isn't the whole picture, so for me, adding up that skewed view and how little I watched of the third period as some site business took my attention, have underrated the quality of some of Toronto's play. I likely missed the level to which Swayman was key for the Bruins because the Bruins weren't really all that good otherwise.

Boston won the game in the second period on two extremely low-probability shots, the kind you need some help to have turn into goals.

This one:

And this one where the PK asked for a quick end to the power play so they could go sit down.

This was not genius from the bench, intense quality of play, skill, finesse, systems or heart, wanting it, knowing how to win or any other narrative. These two goals were sauntering through an open door.

Jim Montgomery is in the difficult position of telling his team they were really quite shitty for most of the game they won by a landslide. I certainly hope the Bruins players think he's wrong and just go lay another egg.


Belle Fraser via Daily Faceoff from the first game, subject to change with no warning

Danton Heinen - Pavel Zacha - David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand - Charlie Coyle - Jake DeBrusk
Jakub Lauko - Morgan Geekie - Trent Frederic
John Beecher - Jesper Boqvist - Pat Maroon

Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm - Brandon Carlo
Kevin Shattenkirk - Andrew Peeke

Linus Ullmark
Jeremy Swayman


Sheldon Keefe has stated more than once that he will not provide any details on Bobby McMann's injury or status. No one knows.

William Nylander participated in the Leafs optional skate yesterday and morning skate today, but did not take part in drills. It is highly unlikely he will play, so the lineup will remain the same.

No one with the Leafs is going to come out tell us who is in net either.

What we do know is that the Leafs did some things right in game one, and they did a lot of things wrong. The double hit that let to a goal was a judgement error of an egregious kind, and yet Ryan Reaves and the fourth line dominated in shotshare and kept the play in the right end of the rink more than any Leafs line. That is their job. No one is coming out for Noah Gregor today.

Several defencemen made mistakes, which are obvious, so the mood is to replace someone with TJ Brodie. This is going to happen at some point, but it doesn't seem to be today, and no one can claim Brodie's play this year has been a benefit to the team.


David Alter via Daily Faceoff from the last game. They match today's morning skate line.

Tyler Bertuzzi - Auston Matthews - Max Domi
Matthew Knies - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Nicholas Robertson - Pontus Holmberg - Calle Järnkrok
Connor Dewar - David Kämpf - Ryan Reaves

Morgan Rielly - Ilya Lyubushkin
Simon Benoit - Jake McCabe
Joel Edmundson - Timothy Liljegren

Ilya Samsonov
Joe Woll

The Game

In the first part of game one, the Leafs laid on a lot of effective hits, which is seen as bad by many people. I am not of that group. Boston had the puck, but their efforts with it were very anemic. The hitting needs to result in a possession change, and this is the thing the Leafs fail at in their own zone way too much. Get the puck, keep the puck.

The game was lost when the Leafs lost focus on puck control, lost emotional control, and opened that door. The double hit goal sucked the life out of the team and the penalties started and the stupid, it was everywhere. They need to take the first part of that script and play it again with the brains turned on.

The single most frustrating thing about last year's playoffs was Michael Bunting. The relief was palpable and widespread when he got suspended. That's a terrible way to approach serious hockey games, and the reins need to be yanked hard on Domi and Reaves or we'll be longing for Player Safety to save us again.

For all the wailing and elite pessimism about how the Leafs just aren't good enough, have you noticed the Bruins aren't playing like contenders. Game one was lost right between the ears of several of the Maple Leafs players with an assist from the winds of fate and Jeremy Swayman. The role of not even remotely good was played by Ilya Samsonov.

The game was not a disaster, but it needs to have slapped a few people awake that Auston Matthews isn't going to win every game by himself.

In other words, Leafs, Snap Out of It!