"I've said this before, it feels like an natural disaster under you". It was their first playoff berth since 2003-04, and they likely wouldn't have made it in a full 82-game season. David Krejci and Charlie Coyle scored for Boston. "That's one of those unwritten rule hits that you don't throw, especially to a guy that's played 20 f-ing years in the National Hockey League".
After two suspensions in consecutive playoff series against the BostonBruins, the NHL's Department of Player Safety has decided it doesn't want Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri facing them again this postseason.
"Now we've got to do something about that". The Leafs' fourth line of Moore, Frederik Gauthier and Tyler Ennis were effective all night with a couple of grinding shifts in the offensive zone. Brad Marchand leads the team in points with a goal and two assists and Patrice Bergeron leads in goals with two lamplighters. Rask went tumbling backwards, but stayed in the game after stretching out his neck and left shoulder.
The Maple Leafs won the series opener 4-1 last Wednesday in Boston before losing by the same score Saturday.
Toronto got a power play five minutes into the third, but could do nothing until Kadri broke Rask's shutout bid on a deflection at 10:44.
What is more useful for the purposes of this investigation is the numbers that a very similar Leafs team posted last year against a very similar Bruins team, and this year has seen a world of improvement over those statistics.
But the Bruins quickly reminded the Leafs why they finished ahead of them in the Atlantic Division race when Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin took a holding penalty late in the period.
Boston kept up the pressure with Rask on the bench for the extra attacker, but Toronto held on despite some tense moments late - including two key blocks from Marner - to take a 2-1 series lead.
"That's what you've got to do to win", said Babcock. "It's obviously not ideal at playoff time, but with the intensity of these games anything can happen". "Ideally all those things are contagious".
There are times when you would not be able to pay me enough to be part of the NHL's department of player safety because of the agonizingly hard decisions they sometimes face.
Babcock's options as replacements for his third-line centre include Marleau and William Nylander, but neither scenario is ideal.
The 28-year-old center plays an integral part for the Maple Leafs in their top-6, and Toronto will have to do without him against a tough competitor in Boston, who took three of four games against the Maple Leafs in their season series.
The incident started when Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk delivered a check on Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau into the stanchion along the boards near the Bruins blue line. "Game 3, he should drop the gloves with DeBrusk and go toe-to-toe at center ice, set the f-ing tone for the home crowd". Bruins defenceman Connor Clifton sat out with an undisclosed injury, while winger Marcus Johansson missed a second consecutive game with an illness.
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OnePlus 7 News is Coming This Wednesday
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