The Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance to take a stranglehold in the series against the Boston Bruins if they pull away with a win in Game 4.
If you are a player on the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Boston Bruins, your eyes must have opened widely when the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off the stunning sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
For most of the season, the talk about the tough road through the Eastern Conference dominated the conversation. While the Blue Jackets don’t look like a joke considering they dominated the President Trophy winners, you have to think both teams are licking their chops a bit.
With all that said, there is still business to be taken care of in this series before either team starts thinking about round two but it is something to keep in mind. Right now, the Leafs have the advantage with a chance to take a stranglehold if they come away with the win in Game 4.
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Based on how this series has gone so far, you know the Bruins are going to have another desperate effort as they did in Game 2. The officiating was improved in Game 3 which likely played a factor because Boston was being penalized for plays they got away with in Game 2.
Regardless, the Leafs are going to have to prepare for the level in intensity they saw in Game’s 2 and 3. They failed to match it in Boston but were better prepared for it on Monday and now the Bruins will want to ensure the Leafs lose at least one game at home.
Mitch Marner‘s block in the final seconds of the third period is the type of play that not only defines what playoff hockey is about but is an example of what this Leafs team needs to do more if they want to move on.
Then you look at Auston Matthews getting his offensive swagger back with a crucial power-play goal, Andreas Johnsson potting home an unreal pass from John Tavares. This is what the Leafs need to keep doing.
Part of it has to do with focus and the other has to do with experience. These players are realizing what it takes to get the job done in the way Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak did last season.
Wednesday should have some nervous moments but if the Leafs match the Bruins level of intensity, they should have the advantage as long as their depth guys continue to produce.
What are you looking forward to in Game 4? Do you think the Leafs can come away with the win? Let us know in the comments below.