Sunday, December 4, 2011

I`m really getting tired of Boston

There is no question that if the Leafs had to play 20 games against the Bruins instead of just 6 they would be looking at a lottery pick instead of a playoff berth. Fortunately they don`t run in to Boston again until March 6. Once again the Leafs were dominated by Boston who really never lost control of the game for more than perhaps a shift. The only goal scored by Toronto was a desperation slapper by Grabovski that caught Tukka Rask by surprise. In 4 games the Leafs have given up 21 goals and just managed 6. The Leafs totally lost control of these games in the 3rd period when the Bruins struck for 10 goals.

Good - People will tell you that this game and last Wednesday were moral victories because the Leafs kept the score close for 40 minutes. Somehow I beleive the team was looking for some points and not some post game cliches.

Bad - Phil Kessel just can`t get going against his old team. Is it psychological or does the Bruins` physical game suck the life out of Phil the Thrill. Kessel and Joffrey Lupul were a combined -11 in the past two games. Ron Wilson tried several moves to get Kessel away from Zdeno Chara. First he played him on the left side and then sent him on the ice at the end of Chara`s shift. The Bruins did such a good job at shutting down their offense that Chara played an uncharacteristically low 20 minutes. It didn`t seem to matter.

Good - Once again Jake Gardiner seemed to shine out there. While his teammates seemed to be intimidated the Stanley Cup champions, Gardiner just did his thing. He tired to make plays and set up his teammates. At point on a rush he did a spinorama around a Boston defenseman to get a shot on net. He led all players with 26 minutes of ice. In games where the Leafs aren`t competing he seems to get more ice time. The questions is why not in all games.

Bad - The Bruins just didn`t allow the Toronto forwards to skate and the Leafs just were unable to adjust. They turned over the puck throughout the game which allowed the Bruins to control the puck all night long. In particular Matt Fratin was guilty of handing the puck over on numerous occassions. They also lost 68% of faceoffs which gave Boston more opportunities to control the game. This was a drop from the 40% winning percentage on Wednesday evening.

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