Game on. There is not much change in the Bruins lines, It looks like they’re going with the Pastrnak/Danton Heinen swap again, but I don’t buy that that will last long.

Will we see a Leafs goal before the game is almost over? I sure as hell hope so.

First Period

One thing I noticed in watching Vegas games last year, is that they showed the player introduction on the broadcast, not some guy in a suit yelling out quotes at rinkside. I’d rather see the players and the on-ice show than SN’s idea of a show.

Kappy gets our first shot, just so we get that out of the way.

The Nylander line get a cycle, but can’t get a shot.

Fans doing a foolish Tuukka chant, which is tacky, and not done until the goalie has actually shit the bed. You gotta earn that.

Are the Leafs driving the pace? Looks like it to me.

The Tavares line had me thinking there would be a goal, but no luck so far.

Whoa, Brandon Carlo took out Tuukka Rask, but the Leafs didn’t have control. Rask might have a skate issue going on.

Leafs get hemmed in, but there’s no whistle, so if Rask has an issue, he’s stuck.

Zdeno Chara gets a whistle by putting the puck over the glass, and Chara goes right to the box, but one linesman waved off the penalty, and the Bruins bench are hollering. The crowd calls it as a penalty, and the result is a penalty, and the Bruins are mad. A win/win.

Half the crowd thinks Morgan Rielly has scored, but they are not quite correct. Hell of a shot, though.

No joy on that power play.

The pace is frantic after the power play, and eventually Boston ices it with half the period gone.

Replay shows that Tavares almost tipped that Rielly shot in the net. You know that’s all he does right? He just stands there and gets tips.


This is the level of analysis you’re getting in this recap, by the way. Rielly scores from Nylander and Marleau on a shot a lot like the one that didn’t quite go in earlier.  Cassidy and co. are looking to see if it’s offside. The offside challenge is a scourge upon the game. It destroys the viewer experience. NHL, wake the hell up on this one.

The Boooooins don’t challenge, so it’s 1-0 LEAFS

Tyler Ennis takes a penalty, which is not a thing he does much, but it’s not well timed. Basically, he was just too much man for the Bruins player, and he took him down.

There is a delay while some glass is fixed, so we await the Bruins power play. Freddie looks dialled in, so I am not worried (I am lying).

Freddie with a great save. This has been a weird PP, with the Bruins doing stationary passing, and the Leafs not moving. I am not all that convinced by Mitch Marner in the static parts of PK work.

Freddie with a great save.

Crap. Crap. Crap.

The Bruins score right off a faceoff. That’s actually a really slick play by the Bruins, I’ll admit. But, crap. 1-1 Tie game.

Boston immediately take a penalty on a careless stick play in the corner.

No joy on that power play, and it isn’t long before Travis Dermott takes a defensive-zone penalty dealing with the Bruins forecheck.

Today the ref knows what intentional offside is, so the Leafs get a faceoff out of their zone as they defend.

Yeah, this PK sucks today. No two ways about it. They’re standing still, they aren’t getting in the way of any passes, and the Bruins are just pin-balling the puck around. The result? Freddie is less than perfect, and the puck goes in. 2-1 Bruins

Whoa. Freddie made a game-saving save there. Marchand makes a fantastic pass through traffic and that puck was going in. I’m in awe.

Another great save from Freddie, and the Leafs need to get this game back under control, as the Bruins are not troubled by much defending when they get in the Leafs zone. The period ends with the Bruins continuing the spin cycle in the Leafs zone.


There’s not a lot of point to pouring over stats on what was a fairly low-event period, but the Bruins turned the advantage in the last few minutes of the period.  The Leafs dominated for most of the time. Also, the official record doesn’t show that Tavares tip, only the Rielly shot, so it looks like the two Boston power play goals were the only really good chances all period.

Leafs need to regroup, and fast.

Second Period

Kappy starts this period off with a blocked shot that stings for a bit.

Bruins are getting a long cycle going, just like they were at the end of the first.

The Leafs are not doing a super job of seeming to know who is about to go where. They are getting crossed up in their own zone, and trying to move up the ice. They don’t look fast right now.

Everybody’s favourite fourth line is failing to hold the puck in the offensive zone today.

Ron Hainsey has gone to the room for an unknown reason.

Wow. Muzzin nearly scores, but the puck won’t cooperate.

Oh, no.

DeBrusk scores on the rush after the first Leafs flurry of effectiveness all period. 3-1 Bruins.

DeBrusk plays Andreas Johnsson perfectly on this goal.

The Bruins take a penalty for something that happened on the near boards. Ah, Gauthier fell very quickly on a bit of a hook. Leafs need to at least look like they can score on this power play.

Wow. Bruins flub a shorthanded chance that should have been a scoring chance. The Leafs don’t get much going after that.

I don’t see this as a that can score against Boston right now. But now won’t last forever.

Trevor Moore gives the puck away, and we’re right back in the Leafs zone with this fourth-line post-power-play shift. I would bench this line for the rest of the game.

Rielly dangles a couple of guys, but can’t get the pass to a forward.

Rielly is out with Jake Gardiner and the Matthews line, and it’s Rielly who gets the shot off that Rask has to save. Defence pairs are in chaos as Hainsey has still not returned, but that is  Babcock’s go-to need to score D-pair. Rielly will barely sit the rest of this game.

Freddie has regrouped, but I’m not sure about the rest of the team. They are working hard, but chasing the Bruins around the ice right now.

Tavares gets a weak shot off at the end of a shift, and Hainsey is back skating around in a way that looks like one leg is not 100%.

Craig Simpson just said the Nylander line needs to bring something to the game that’s more than just holding the puck in the offensive zone, and I have to agree with that. They were instrumental on Rielly’s goal, forechecking hard and smart, but since then, not much has happened with them that looks dangerous.

Rask pulls a Zaitsev shot through traffic out of the air.

The horn goes on a period that saw the Leafs finish up looking a little like a team that could do something in the third.


Hainsey did play two shifts in the late stages of the period, so perhaps he’s okay. I’m not sure Jake Gardiner is up to a lot of ice time, so that’s likely a good thing that he’s back.

The Leafs haven’t been near the Bruins net enough. A lot of their shooting is point shots, and I don’t know why some fans believe in them so fervently, but that’s not a good sign. If the Leafs can’t bust through to the net on a cycle, then they need rush chances, and they aren’t getting them because their movement through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone is not great.

I’m sure the narrative will be Mike Babcock makes them play dump and chase. While I think what’s going on is Mike Babcock makes excuses sometimes for how much they have to play dump and chase.

That said, all of this spot near the Bruins net happened in the last five minutes of period two:

Third Period

Rielly has almost 16 minutes all-situations going into the third, so I expect that number to balloon up. He’s out there on the right side with Muzzin for a shift.

Matthews double shifting with the fourth line, and they still give the puck away.

Wow. Perfect passing play that comes from Rielly to Hyman and to Tavares, but Rask has it.

I can’t emphasize enough how good Morgan Rielly is in this game.

Yes!!!!! Matthews scores!!!!!!!!!!!!  3-2 Bruins.

Matthews does that amazing thing he does where he just disappears on the right wing side. I remember him doing that with ZSC while wearing that damn gold helmet for the top scorer! He just pops up and scores.

Come on guys! You can do this!

Be perfect, Freddie.

Kappy with one of those rush chances, but no joy.

Rielly follows up with two separate attempts.

The fourth line has a shift that forced Gauthier to shoot.

Rielly rolls Jake freaking DeBrusk hard into the boards (sliding), and Rielly is hot after. He would fight that man.

Freddie saves the day when a good Nylander line shift turns eventually into a Bruins rush.

Rielly to Matthews cross-crease, but no!

The Leafs are just pressing so hard right now. This is a team that can tie this game. The crowd is screaming over everything. They’re chanting, they feel like this game can turn right now.

Oh, Mo! He gave the puck away, but Freddie saved the day. It’s like that pre-anthem Freddie chant was a prophesy. The Leafs need a goal here to make that true.

Andersen is out with two minutes to go. Marchand scores an ENG, and this game is over.

4-2 Bruins.

If you don’t take chances, you can’t win. That one failed.


Game Seven is Tuesday in Boston, time not yet announced.  Win it, Leafs. Those are my thoughts.