The first three games of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins series have been nothing short of thrilling and none of the first three games went into OT. But game four put the icing on the cake for this series and maybe the beginning of the end for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Leafs lose 4-3 in OT in game four and are now down 3-1 in the series with the next game in Boston. I don’t think I have to spell this out, this means trouble for the Leafs. The Leafs now need to win two straight games in Boston to steal this series from the Bruins.
The Leafs got off to a great start in game four, but in the end sloppy mistakes cost this team an extremely valuable game.
- When the Leafs skate they are a better team than the Bruins. The Bruins simply can’t compete or catch the speed the Leafs possess. That speed is lethal and something the Leafs used early on in the game to get the early lead. Speed is the one area the Leafs need to bring to every game and use to beat the Bruins.
- James Reimer looked solid and confident between the pipes tonight and when the Leafs needed big saves he was able to make them. His biggest save came after he was bumped into by Milan Lucic and dove backwards to get an arm on the puck to foil a wide open net. Unfortunately the puck found a home in OT and his solid effort was foiled.
- Aside from speed the next winnable area for the Leafs is special teams and tonight they lost the special teams battle. Leafs had 4 power play opportunities and failed to capitalize on any, while the Bruins scored on 2 of their 5 opportunities.
- What a game by David Krejci who recorded the hat-trick and was the driving force behind the Bruins comeback. Krejci now leads all players with 5 goals and 10 points in the playoffs. Last time the Bruins hoisted the Cup, Krejci was their leading scorer.
- Leafs came out on fire early and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But instead of continuing their strong play in the second period they got complacent and stopped scoring, thus opening the door for the Bruins and allowing 3 unanswered goals.
- Bruins play an intimidation role against every player on the opposition including the goalies. The goalies have to look over their shoulder and worry whether or not they’re going to get hit. That little bit of fear or worry forces the goalies off their game and allows the Bruins to get in their heads.
- While he was held off the scoreboard Mikhail Grabovski had a fantastic game, flying all over the ice and creating scoring chances all night. He was hitting and one of the Leafs best players.
- Remember when everyone wanted to anoint Nazem Kadri the next one? He’s not doing so well right now. 1 goal in his last 15 games and has been virtually invisible all playoffs. Only time you noticed him tonight was his 4 minute major penalty.
- Dion Phaneuf went to lay a big hit in the Bruins end trying to be the hero but instead ended up taking out two Leafs players giving the Bruins a 3 on 2 and Krejci made him pay with the overtime winner.
The Leafs will head into Boston on Friday night hoping to steal a big game from the Bruins in front of their crowd. It won’t be easy for the Toronto Maple Leafs but nothing in the playoffs is ever easy.