Toronto Maple Leafs Gain Ground on Boston Bruins with 4-2 Victory

Mar 20, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak (42) and goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) celebrate a win over the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Boston 4-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak (42) and goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) celebrate a win over the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Boston 4-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Maple Leafs (33-23-14) closed the gap on the Boston Bruins (38-28-6) with a 4-2 victory on Monday night and now sit one point back of Boston for third place in the Atlantic Divison.

Thoughts and Observations

  • It’s official. The Toronto Maple Leafs are now one game back of the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic division with a game in hand. They’re also three points ahead of the New York Islanders and four points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning. To put it bluntly, this win was massive.
  • From start to finish this game had a playoff feel to it. The intensity was ramped up, the physicality never wavered and both teams played with a ton of emotion, especially in the third period. It was fun to watch.

  • Mitch Marner was magnificent during this game. His zone entries were crisp, he danced around defenders, regularly escaped the Bruins’ pressure and was sensational passing the puck. Sometimes I forget Marner is only 19 years old. Imagine what he’s going to be like in a few years.
  • The NHL’s No. 1 power play unit propelled the Leafs to a late victory when

    Tyler Bozak

    buried his 17th goal of the season with 1:57 left in the third period. The special teams turnaround from last season to this season has been remarkable and it’s a big reason for the Leafs’ success.

  • There were a few other moments in the third period that stuck out for me. The first was Brian Boyle channeling what’s left from his John Tortorella New York Ranger days and blocking a shot with 12:51 left, and Matt Martin exchanging a flurry of cross checks with Zdeno Chara at centre ice with 7:37 left in the game. Martin agitated Chara into an offsetting penalty, which is a win for the Leafs, and took the towering 6-foot-9 defenceman out of the game in a crucial time. I’ll take that type of offsetting penalty all day if I’m Mike Babcock, especially when it gets a player like Chara off the ice.
  • Nikita Zaitsev


    Brad Marchand

    were going back and forth all game, but it was the exchange between

    Leo Komarov

    and Marchand that fans will remember. In case you can’t hear what Marchand is saying, he’s telling Uncle Leo that he’ll send a stick over after the game. Although it’s Marchand, and I get the distaste Leaf fans have for him, you have to appreciate a classic hockey chirp like this one.

    Brendan Shanahan

    ‘s subtle celebration in the press box was awesome, but I don’t think it can top Lou Lamoriello’s non-celebration. Sweet Lou has seen it all during his time and — like a true veteran — he didn’t even budge on Bozak’s goal. Talk about having nerves of steel.

  • William Nylander‘s point streak is now up to eight games and he has points in 21 of his last 22 games.
  • James van Riemsdyk

    established a new single-season career-high for assists on Monday night:

  • How about Nazem Kadri? Tonight’s empty net goal puts him at 29 for the season and he’s now one away from reaching the 30 goal mark for the first time in his career.
  • When’s the last time you saw a team score a pair of empty goals from their own end? Now tell me the hockey Gods aren’t smiling upon the Leafs right now.

  • The Leafs are 5-1-1 in their last seven games and look to be clicking at the right time. What’s even more promising about this record is that Auston Matthews only has one point during that span. If somebody would have told me this is how things would unfold seven games ago, I would have kindly chuckled at them. Well, jokes on me, I suppose.
  • Fun fact: the Leafs not only swept the season series against the Bruins, they also held a 4-1 lead at one point in each of those four games. Can we put the whole “Toronto blew a 4-1 lead” narrative behind us now, please?

    Stat of the Night


    Frederik Andersen was excellent throughout this game and he looked exactly like the No. 1 goalie the Leafs envisioned when they acquired him this past offseason. Andersen’s record against the Bruins isn’t too shabby either. With this victory Andersen now boasts a flawless 8-0-0 record against the Bruins during his career to go along with a .944 save percentage.

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    What’s Next

    The Maple Leafs travel to Ohio to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (47-18-6) at the Nationwide Arena on Wednesday night. The Leafs were demolished, 5-2, the last time they played the Blue Jackets on February 15th.

    Backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney was hung out to dry and his return to Columbus was horrific. With the Leafs playing the Devils on Thursday, perhaps we’ll see McElhinney in net against Columbus and Babcock will give him another chance at redemption?

    Given the way Columbus has played the Leafs this season, I think we’ll see Andersen in net on Wednesday and McElhinney in net on Thursday, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    Next: Will Leivo Get Another Opportunity this Season?

    What did you think of the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 victory against the Boston Bruins on Monday night? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below