Sports: Bruins battered Leafs to even series, now they await a response - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsBruins battered Leafs to even series, now they await a response

10:26  15 april  2019
10:26  15 april  2019 Source:   bostonglobe.com

Marchand: Bruins thought Game 1 would be 'easier than it was'

Marchand: Bruins thought Game 1 would be 'easier than it was' The Toronto Maple Leafs snagged home-ice advantage from the Boston Bruins with a 4-1 win in Game 1 of their first-round series on Thursday night, and superstar Brad Marchand believes his club wasn't prepared. "I think maybe we thought it was going to be a little easier than it was out there," he told NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin. "We were trying to play too much of a controlled style, where that's not really our game. So we've got to play a little faster." Marchand got the Bruins on the board with a primary assist on Patrice Bergeron's power-play tally in the first period, but the Leafs responded with four unanswered goals to win the opener.

The Bruins won the season series , winning the final four games after losing the first two in a home-and-home series in the final week of October The realignment that occurred in the offseason of 2013 kept the Bruins , Canadiens and Maple Leafs in the same division, now called the Atlantic Division.

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Bruins battered Leafs to even series, now they await a response© Mary Schwalm/Associated Press Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) reacts after getting hit with a stick in the face by Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2.

Hours before the first smack of the game, when Joakim Nordstrom finished Nikita Zaitsev with his shoulder nine seconds in, the Bruins were buzzing. Credit their coach, in part, for kicking the hornet’s nest. Bruce Cassidy was fired up.

“Seeing him like that brought it out in us,” defenseman Brandon Carlo said Sunday, before boarding a charter plane to Toronto for Games 3 and 4.

Cassidy, who had a brief stint in the NHL some three decades ago, has been a coach the last 22, the last three in Boston. He has been a Bruins fan since his boyhood in Ottawa.

Leafs hope to take Game 2 tonight in Boston

Leafs hope to take Game 2 tonight in Boston Leafs hope to take Game 2 tonight in Boston BOSTON – Columbus is up after two road wins in Tampa. St. Louis went into Winnipeg at took two from the Jets. There are upsets in the making that have Nazem Kadri thinking the Maple Leafs can do the same to Boston. “It seems there have been a few road teams that have pulled off a couple of wins, and are heading home with two in the bank,” said Kadri. “We’re looking to accomplish that. They’re (the Bruins) are going to be pretty desperate tonight. We’ve got to match that intensity.

The Leafs can only ever be a small part of helping a hurting city heal. It’s what they ’ve been trying to do since before they understood just how much it was needed. They have been packing bars and the streets outside Air Canada Centre throughout this topsy-turvy series with the Bruins .

Even without one of their best players, the Boston Bruins were able to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in game 4 and are now one win away from advancing to the next round The Bruins have a chance to lock up the series at home on Saturday night. Hopefully, they will give fans something to cheer about.

He knew what the Black and Gold needed Saturday: to turn the Leafs black and blue. The message reverberated throughout the B’s dressing room.

“Saw Pasta lay a few bodies, that kind of gets you jacked up,” said one of the Bruins’ jackhammers, Chris Wagner. “I think it energizes the bench more than anything. We didn’t want to chase hits by any means. But it builds momentum and gets the crowd into it, which you have to play into when you’re playing at home.”

It helped the Bruins dominate possession, made the Leafs skittish with the puck, and got the home team rolling downhill.

Now that the series heads to Toronto, tied 1-1, Boston expects a pushback.

“I think every game takes on a life of its own,” Cassidy said. “We knew we weren’t very good in Game 1. We wanted to rectify that and respond. We did.”

Krug, DeBrusk in Bruins' Game 3 lineup vs. Maple Leafs

Krug, DeBrusk in Bruins' Game 3 lineup vs. Maple Leafs Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk will suit up for the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters after the morning skate. Krug was leveled by Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin in the second period of Game 2 on Saturday. He left the contest and didn't return. DeBrusk was cross-checked in the head by Leafs forward Nazem Kadri in the third period of the same game. He also left and didn't play another shift. Kadri has a hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon with the NHL's Department of Player Safety to answer for the cross-check on DeBrusk.

The Toronto Maple Leafs knew that the Boston Bruins would respond with a more energetic and physical effort after opening the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an uncharacteristically weak effort, but the Leafs appeared unprepared for the challenge in Game 2, as the Bruins evened the series with a

The Toronto Maple Leafs knew that the Boston Bruins would respond with a more energetic and physical effort after opening the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an uncharacteristically weak effort, but the Leafs appeared unprepared for the challenge in Game 2, as the Bruins evened the series with a

He expected the Leafs to “lick their wounds” and give the Bruins their best Monday night.

He wasn’t expecting the same level of physicality, since his club won’t be able to feed off the Scotiabank Arena crowd. But the he hopes the hallmarks of Sunday’s 4-1 win — puck management is a buzzphrase — have been established. If the Bruins continue to play behind the Leafs’ defense, batter bodies and tilt the ice, this series may not again go through Canadian customs.

“We brought it from the get-go,” Carlo said. “Throughout the first period, you could tell their guys were on their heels a little bit more, especially with our forecheck, turning more pucks over than they did the [game] before.”

The Leafs will surely be without third-line center Nazem Kadri, who will have an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Monday for his cross-check to Jake DeBrusk’s head. Kadri, a repeat offender, may be done for the rest of the series.

Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri suspended rest of first round

Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri suspended rest of first round Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri suspended rest of first round

TORONTO – Morgan Rielly would head back to Vancouver early in his Toronto Maple Leafs ’ career and watch on television as players younger than him battled for the Stanley Cup. This is a lot more fun. The defenceman helped lead a nastier

Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle scored during a raucous first period as the Boston Bruins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday to even their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.

Toronto, without its most physical forward, will be even less of a threat to bruise Boston. Kadri, who had four of the Leafs’ five penalties in Game 2, also scored the only goal. To remain in the series, the Leafs need more from John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

They also need William Nylander, whose giveaway gave Danton Heinen a goal in Game 2, or 39-year-old Patrick Marleau to play third-line center. Either would be a better option than Tomas Plekanec, who filled in for three games last year when Kadri boarded Tommy Wingels.

Cassidy used his fourth line (Nordstrom-Noel Acciari-Wagner) to get physical with the Zach Hyman-Tavares-Marner line. They and the Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy defense pair made it hard for that group to get to the net.

Meanwhile, the Bergeron line made it hard on Matthews, who has yet to get going. His wingers haven’t buzzed behind the Bruins’ defense, which further limits the space for the dangerous center. Matthews is excellent at attacking the space between the F3, the high forward, and the defense, but the Bruins have stunted those opportunities with a tight gap. They have also stayed out of the box, neutralizing his elite shot on the power play.

Leafs’ Nazem Kadri suspended for rest of Bruins series

Leafs’ Nazem Kadri suspended for rest of Bruins series Nazem Kadri’s season may be over, as may be his career with the Maple Leafs. Kadri was suspended for the rest of the opening round of the playoffs by the NHL’s department of player safety on Monday for his cross-check to the head of Boston’s Jake DeBrusk in Game 2 of the Toronto-Boston Stanley Cup playoff series. If the Leafs don’t survive the first round, Kadri will have played his last game of the season. And if the Leafs braintrust is looking to find some salary-cap space over the summer to re-sign Mitch Marner, Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen, Kadri’s cap hit of $4.5 million U.S. until the end of the 2021-22 season might be the place they start.

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The Leafs centre was banned three games in last year’s first-round series against the Bruins following an ugly boarding incident. The Leafs , who lost to the Bruins in seven games in both 2013, could do nothing with a power play that stretched between the first and second periods before Andersen made

“Establishing the forecheck, the D gapping up, and eliminating his time and space has been helpful,” Carlo said. “I feel our D-zone coverage has been pretty phenomenal to this point.”

All year, the third line has been a wild card. But Cassidy loved what he saw from Heinen-Charlie Coyle-David Backes, which produced two goals Saturday. Cassidy also put both Coyle and Backes on David Krejci’s right wing for stretches, adding size and strength to the second line.

In Toronto, Mike Babcock will get the last change. The Bruins, as they did Saturday, will try to make his machinations matter not.

“The matchups worked out well,” Cassidy said. “I think if you score first and your players are on their A game, I don’t know if it matters. They all played well. They all outplayed the guy across from them.”

Before leaving Boston on Sunday, Zdeno Chara was bouncing, ever so slightly, on the balls of his feet. His Slovakian baritone rose, a little, while discussing what happened the night before.

One of the more physical games he’s played in, he believed.

Can Chara, recently 42, bring that kind of energy again? Can Backes, nearly 35, keep mashing the pedal? The Bruins hope their veterans keep setting the tone.

“You get a little bit along in your career, you don’t have as many kicks at the can,” Cassidy said. “Some guys have a little more motivation. We tapped into that [Saturday] night. Hopefully we keep it going.

“You’re looking at, if you’re successful, a two-month run of this type of energy. The team that can sustain it -- it’s a team, not one individual, but as a group , that can sustain it the most will have success, especially if you’re going to play that way. And it’s been our M.O.”

Bruins eliminate Maple Leafs in Game 7, will face Columbus in second round.
For the second consecutive year, the Boston Bruins have eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the first round in Boston. The post Bruins eliminate Maple Leafs in Game 7, will face Columbus in second round appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.

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