After taking it to the Boston Bruins in Game 1, the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t weather the storm allowing things to get out of hand in Game 2.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t have a perfect performance in Game 1, they did more than enough to earn the victory over the Boston Bruins.
You can say the opposite happened in Game 2.
It was clear the Bruins were going to try and dominate right off the start and you say them crashing and banging any player in a white jersey. Unfortunately, the Leafs didn’t have that push back from Game 1 and couldn’t establish their game.
Credit Bruce Cassidy for not letting Mike Babcock get the upper hand after having his top line shut down by Jake Muzzin and Nikita Zaitsev. Boston realized they needed to force the Leafs to move the puck quickly by pressuring them physically and Toronto didn’t make the necessary adjustment.
More from Tip of the Tower
- Cam Phillips making his mark on Toronto Argonauts offence
- Toronto Argonauts: 4 storylines ahead of matchup against Redblacks
- Federico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FC
- Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic
- Buffalo Bills: Von Miller drawing inspiration from Bruce Smith
You saw Babcock immediately make a line at the start of the game which made it known he was not a fan of the matchup at the start, he allowed Cassidy to realize that he can dictate the way the game was going to go.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t help the Leafs when the Bruins are able to get away with plays what should be called for penalties. Instead, Leafs fans have to worry about how many games Nazem Kadri will get suspended for going after Jake DeBrusk.
The Leafs said going into this game that they didn’t want to get pushed around by the Bruins and that’s exactly what happened. Boston outhit Toronto 44-39 according to NHL.com (probably seemed like a more significant advantage), outshot them 41-31 and the Leafs had 14 giveaways while the Bruins had eight.
Adding David Backes to the lineup was basically him sending a message to his team that they were going to punish the Leafs any chance they got and Backes did that with seven hits alone. Say what you want about having a tough guy in the lineup, the Bruins were not afraid to take liberties on the Leafs because they knew Backes would stick up for them.
Toronto is going to have to find a way to take the element away from the Bruins. Luckily they have the next two games at home to get the matchup they want but a Kadri’s status could impact that.
Let’s not forget what was at stake for Boston in this game and the Leafs should come out with the same urgency in Game 3.
What are your thoughts on Game 2? What concerns you the most and can the Leafs overcome it with the next two games at home.