The warmup line rushes:

Win or lose, play the best game you have in yourselves, Leafs. That’s all we can ask for.

First Period

And the starting line is Plekanec with Marleau and Marner. So Mike Babcock is a practitioner of dance with them that brung ya, as expected.

It begins.

Oh, wow. Auston Matthews jumps off the bench and grabs the first shot.

More, wow, Boston with a penalty almost immediately. As Sean Kuraly takes a tripping call.

Leafs get a chance, and Rask has it, but then Chara gets the puck and Marchand roars off. Andersen with the save. He has to make another off of the faceoff.

This is a trash bucket power play, but most of these guys haven’t even played a shift yet.

Who wrote that? I’ve been hacked!

Okay, so that is a great power play because everything is perfectly done on a Gardiner shot with a tip by your dad, my dad, everyone’s dad, Patrick Marleau.

1-0 Leafs.

There was a nice little drop pass from Johnny at the start of that last PP set up that made me happy too.

Happiness is fleeting, because the Leafs take a puck over glass penalty. Guys. Save some action for the entire rest of the game, okay?

Ahhhhh. Which is not quite the noise I made. The puck dribbles behind Andersen and he just grabs it in time.

This PK is wild and chaotic and somehow working, somehow.

Or it was working.

Bruins score on a tip that isn’t all that different from the Leafs goal. A Pastrnak shot and a DeBrusk tip.

1-1 score.

Andersen makes a save with his face, and deep breath. Consider that five minutes irrelevant now.

The crowd is chanting An-der-sen, and, huh, okay.

The Leafs get called on an icing that isn’t really an icing. But it works out.

Dad! Dad goal number two. Mitch Marner will be your server tonight, and he’s serving gorgeous passes. Marleau with the goal past a sliding Rask.

2-1 Leafs.

Plekanec goes in one-on-three on the Bergeron line, and keeps the puck alive until the change happens, and the Leafs are out in force. Boston didn’t look sharp there, is all I’m saying.

Johnny just outskates the entire Bruins team to make a zone exit and entry and some zone time happen.

Terrible, terrible, terrible giveaway by Gardiner, and then it all just goes to hell until Danton Heinen gets his first ever playoff goal. No one was stellar on that mess of a play, but Jake was really baaaaad.

2-2 score.

That first ten minutes is now irrelevant. Put it in the past.

Marner gets open really easily off a faceoff win, but Rask has the save. That was really easy though. Again, not sharp from the Bruins.

Morgan Rielly takes a puck in the face from a Chara bomb, as Marchand just ducks in time in front of him. Rielly goes off and to the room. Not Marchand’s fault there. In case that needs saying.

This is not good for the Leafs. But the door is open Travis Dermott, please storm through it and shine, okay?

Boston takes a penalty immediately. Rick Nash cross-checks Hyman in the face for being faster than him.

This game is a zoo.

Gardiner on the first PP unit, of course. Leafs get not much, and then have to set up some more. I expect Zaitsev out on the second unit, but you never know. He has a lot of PK time to work, I expect.  Dermott gets a very few seconds at the end, but Gardiner played most of it. Dermott was very good. Good start for him.

The Leafs put on huge pressure post PP.

Hainsey loses control at the offensive blueline, and then can’t keep up moving back. A mess of a Bruins flurry ensues, but Andersen has it eventually.

There have been trainers reporting to Babcock, but no sign of Rielly. We should expect not to see him for the final five minutes, I think.

Kapanen hits the ice and breaks up a pass, goes to the forecheck, gets the puck, breaks up another pass. Hell of a shift, for all it was about 10 seconds.

Hyman and Brown are just bringing it. Matthews gets another chance off their work.

The Kadri line is coming alive late in the game.  Good backchecking, speed, and it’s leading to chances.

The Bozak line has a scary time in the defensive zone against the Nash line.  The puck is bobbled all over, and they just don’t clear it. Plekanec gets on the ice, but not his wingers, and the Bergeron line has hit the ice too.

Miller does the bounce pass off the boards, and Andersen doesn’t get over in time for the easy goal from David Backes. Great shot from Miller. Terrible defensive play vs the Nash line to set all that up.

3-2 Bruins

Marner nearly gets a chance in the last seconds, and then Andersen has to make a save.

The period is over, and we guessed five goals, didn’t we?


Kadri had a really slow start, but Johnny and Nylander are really working. Bozak is not in this game at all. Neither is van Riemsdyk.

Boston doesn’t look sharp defensively to me, which is odd. And the Leafs can press hard and even this up quickly.

Second Period

Rielly on the bench for the second with a lot of stitches.

Bruins get some zone time off a turnover after a faceoff win.  Rielly is on the ice for the first time.

Leafs are not handling the puck well when not under pressure. And facing pressure poorly at the moment.

Kadri gets something going, and they pin the Bergeron line into defending, and Dermott gets the puck shoots, keeps it in, and the next try is IN THE NET. Dermott with his first ever NHL playoff goal.  That counts as shining, young man.

3-3 score.

Now it’s a 37 minute game. Winner takes all.

The Nash line again with the offence. They are so dangerous, but Andersen has it. Matthews gets pinned and Bruce Cassidy puts out the Bergeron line, but he Leafs get loose. Cassidy wants Bergeron out against Matthews, but their defence is so suspect tonight, maybe that will bite him.

Plekanec takes an interference call on Marchand.  Bruins to the PP.

The PP is more chaos. Andersen loses his stick, and then the Leafs get away with a breakaway. Guess who? Kappy outskates Marchand, dekes, dangles, dekes again until Rask is out.  Kappy timed it perfectly and in it goes. Take that post.

4-3 Leafs.

Andersen with a save on a rush chance after a lot of furious back and forth.

Matthews is on the ice with Marner and Marleau, and this has been happening a bit in short stretches on changes, but I won’t be surprised to see more of it.

This game is now half over.

Nylander gets a puck, and he and Johnsson are running the play all on their own. The Bruins don’t defend very well again.

Hyman gets a breakaway on the next shift and is checked from behind by McQuaid, who slams hard into boards. Hope he’s okay. He’s back on the bench after the TV timeout.

Kadri with a garbage fire giveaway off a Polak pass, and Andersen has to make the save. That was not a good move by Polak or Kadri.

The Leafs are taking the puck away from the Bergeron line with ease in the neutral zone. They aren’t pressing though. They need to.

This isn’t a game played by two squads of angels, but it’s got to be the cleanest of the series, and nothing is being called when they do get into it.

Leafs ice the puck one and then twice, and this is getting to be, or perhaps already is, a habit. They do it again. All of this is on just miss-timed passes.

Icing again. And that meant Bergeron is out again.

The Bozak line finally gets some zone time, and it’s Kappy with the puck nearest the net.

Connor Brown, everyone. My god. He’s a beast tonight. The Matthews line gets going, gets some chances, and then Brown just takes the puck off of the Bruin who thought he’d got it under control to transition, and the Leafs get another.  Brown is convincing me on this line for this situation.

Big scrum after the whistle doesn’t draw a call.

The last minute is up and down the ice, but the score holds. The Leafs will enter the third with the lead.


Both team tightened up a lot in this period. The Bruins are more dangerous offensively, but the Leafs, when they get chances, have no trouble getting in tight and getting cross-crease passes, or tips.

The Bruins are not disrupting the Leafs offence, and the Leafs have what looks like one point shot by the heat map. They can just carry the puck in deep. Now, if the Leafs could ever exit the zone...

Even with the extra shifts while Rielly was out, Dermott has barely played in this game.

Third Period

The Leafs start the third pinned a little, and they don’t clear. Leafs almost ice it again. Boston will have to be aggressive now.

Pastrnak gets away, but Andersen has it, and there’s a scrum behind the play. The edge in the game is ramping up. Hyman and Krejci go to the box, so Marchand gets away with starting it, but not finishing it.


Damn. Bruins score on one of their quick shots off the faceoff win. Torey Krug this time. They’ve done about four of these, and Andersen has had all of them before now.

4-4 score.

The four-on-four continues.  Both teams need to go for it now.

Suddenly it looks like a Boston power play, and the Leafs look terrified as the Bozak line are pinned in against Nash. Bozak brings down Nash, and the refs even it up by sending Nash too for a cross-check.

Four-on-four again.

Great defensive play by Hainsey, but the pressure is all Bruins. Leafs look spun out of control.

Nylander takes the puck in, but they don’t keep it in, and the Bruins are back the other way.

DeBrusk takes it in, cuts to the net, and Gardiner pretty much nails him to the ice, but it’s too little too late and DeBrusk has made the shot, and it goes in.

Andersen is just not on this shot at all. He’s terrible here. The last goal was a funny bounce to the shooter, this was just bad on the goalie.

5-4 Boston.

The Leafs put on furious pressure but aren’t getting pucks on net.

Then the Bruins are back with their own.

There’s 12 minutes left in a game with nine goals. There’s time for any of a thousand outcomes.

Dermott with a shot right on Rask. He looks good right now, I hope he gets some time here to move the puck a little given Gardiner’s less than great game. He’s had quite a few, and Dermott has had some issues.

Nylander steals a Bruins pass, and gets some zone time.

Matthews out with Marner and Marleau again.

The Bruins ice the puck twice, and they are running the clock as much as anything.

The classic Matthews line is out, but they don’t keep it in the zone off the faceoff.

Kadri comes out with Marner and Marleau, and Zaitsev has Marchand pinned behind the Leafs net, but the puck gets away and both Zaitsev and Gardiner go for it, and they both miss it because Bergeron dipped about Gardiner took it and centred it to Pastrnak who put is in the net.

No one, and I mean no one, is anywhere near Pastrnak. He’s standing in the mid slot, wide open. One on one to Andersen.  I don’t know what Kadri was doing there.

That’s the game. The Bruins won’t blow this.

6-4 Boston

The Leafs try to pressure, and the Kadri line gets something going for a bit. Matthews has some jump.

Hyman in a fierce battle with Chara.

Andersen is pulled with three minutes left.

The Leafs get some passing going.

Kadri keeps the puck in when the Bruins almost had it.

The Bruins ice it with one of their defenders stickless.

The Leafs are giving all they have now. Remember this part of this game. They are giving it all.

It’s the future on the ice now. Dermott is out there. I hear a ping. Rask makes a save on Matthews, and the Bruins don’t get control.

One minute left, and the Bozak-Kadri crew can’t keep it in. Brad Marchand scores on the empty net.

7-4 Bruins.

I liked the group of future Leafs better. I’m ready for that future. I think we all are, inside our disapointment.


There were no good goalies in this game, but Rask got himself in hand late and Andersen didn’t. Rask faced very few shots in the third as well.

Jake Gardiner was not good. Morgan Rielly would have never finished this game in any other circumstances, and he was a non-factor.

Nazem Kadri was not spectacular. The Matthews line, any flavour, and the Marner-Marleau pairing were the best players. They didn’t have enough.

But remember that bit at the end with Dermott, Marner, Matthews, Rielly, Nylander. Remember the future of the team giving it all.

That’s the last Leafs recap until September. It’s been a pleasure everyone, even if it didn’t last as long as we all wanted.