Toronto Maple Leafs need to rethink game plan vs Bruins

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Rick Nash
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Rick Nash /

After another blowout loss to the Boston Bruins, it is clear that the Toronto Maple Leafs need to make changes ahead of Game 3.

The Boston Bruins know they are in the heads of the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially David Pastrnak. It is hard to feel optimistic, given how the Bruins’ top line has feasted on any matchup the Leafs have thrown their way.

Sure the Leafs held a 63-39 advantage in attempts on net in Game 2, but in a seven-game series there is only one result that matters and that’s the final score.

What makes it worse is that the Leafs did not learn from their biggest mistake during Game 1, staying out of the box. The penalty kill looked lost again especially in front of the net, which led to Frederik Andersen being pulled after allowing three goals on five shots.

They had chances to get back into the game but unlike the Bruins, the Leafs’ play with the man advantage seemed to have done more harm than good. Now it’s up to Mike Babcock to make the appropriate adjustments and hope that the Leafs have a better chance at home.

Will any of the changes to the lines that he made during the game stick for Game 3? It is hard to justify keeping things the same, but Saturday’s game may have provided a preview of things to expect.

If Leo Komarov‘s unable to play in Game 3, either Matt Martin or Josh Leivo will draw in (most likely Martin). The real question is whether Babcock will actually make changes not related to injuries or suspension?

More from Tip of the Tower

It is hard to justify keeping Tomas Plekanec in the lineup, especially with the lack of production coming from the fourth line.

Now if Babcock wanted to send a message, Nikita Zaitsev would be benched for Connor Carrick given how the Russian defender played in the first period, but would he consider doing that?

Just to give some perspective on how much the Leafs’ defence has struggled, Travis Dermott led the team in ice-time at even strength, while Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner combined to allow five goals against while being on the ice for two goals for.

The Leafs need more out of Rielly and Gardiner in the series so if promoting Dermott provides a spark, it should be considered.

At the same time, it appears that Andersen is going to have to elevate his game with his defence struggling to contain the bigger bodied Bruins forwards.

Something is going to have to change if this Leafs team wants to make a comeback in this series, because at this moment they are playing into the Bruins’ hand more and more.

Next: Okay, NOW it’s time to panic

What do you suggest the Leafs do ahead of Game 3? Is there a chance they can get back in the series? Let us know in the comments below.