Frederik Andersen needs to stand on his head
This narrative might have been beaten to death a bit but everyone knows that if the Leafs want the best chance to beat Boston, Andersen is going to have to be the best player on the ice.
Now saying Andersen has to play mistake free hockey the entire series is putting a lot of pressure on him considering the Leafs do have the firepower to support him. What he needs to avoid is allowing the floodgates to open and giving his teammates no chance to get them back in the game.
If you go back to Game 1 from 2018, the Leafs and Bruins were tied after the first period which is a result most will take. It was the second period that proved to be an issue as Boston got two in the period (one would have been a tough save) but got beat clean by David Pastrnak.
From that moment the Bruins knew they had the Leafs on the ropes and scored two more to win 5-1 with the final goal coming below the goal line. Those types of goals can’t be allowed especially if the team is trailing. The Leafs were outscored 12-4 heading back to Toronto but that seemed to be the wake up call they needed.
Andersen was pivotal in the Leafs pushing to series to seven games despite a couple of questionable goals and was not able to be the saviour in Game 7 and that was a big factor in their loss.
This season the 29-year-old was making an early bid for the Vezina Trophy with a 22-11-1 record, a 2.56 GAA and a .923 sv% heading into the All-Star break. In the 26 games after the break, Andersen had a tough time going 14-5-6 with a 3.05 GAA and a .910 sv%.
If he is able to find his form from earlier in the season, the Leafs have a great chance to move past the Bruins because we have seen that the team is able to overcome a shaky performance from Andersen.