I’m going to keep this blog short and simple. Overall, the Leafs were the team with more jump in Game 3. They came out exactly how they needed to get their 4-2 victory over the Bruins.
That being said, the Bruins simply could not finish. Countless times they had wide open nets, literally, and flat out missed.
Here are some other key nuggets from Game 3:
- The officials did not cost the Bruins Game 3. Yes, they were atrocious. They couldn’t even get icing right. They couldn’t even get when to blow the whistle when a player is “injured” right. And the obvious botched delay of game call was absurd. But the B’s had 42 shots on net. Forty-two. And, they missed another 18. It’s on the B’s for not finishing.
- Frederik Andersen was great when he had to be. He was not sharp, nor impressive in the first 40 minutes of the game. On the B’s lone power play early in the third period he was flopping like a fish out of water, praying the puck would stay out. Yet again the Bruins continued to misfire. However, as the screws tightened on the game in the final 7-8 minutes, he dialed it in. He made the save of the playoffs on David Pastrnak with just a few minutes to go. The finish to Game 3 should give Andersen confidence going forward that he’s clearly been lacking all series.
- Zdeno Chara led the Bruins with 5 shots on net.
- Jake DeBrusk was a man possessed out there. Forechecking, picking pockets, using his speed. He was going from the drop of the puck. Surprisingly, he was only 1 of 4 Bruins who did not register a shot on net in the game.
- The Bruins fourth line was great. They were generating offense (Sean Kuraly, 2 assists and Tim Schaller, 1 assist) with their hard nosed, relentless play. It’s probably not a good sign for the B’s if that line is leading on the score sheet but every good thing they did in the game was earned and deserved.
- Idiots will blame Tuukka Rask for this one. If it were not for him it would have been 2 or 3-0 Leafs in the first period when the B’s were weathering the storm. He bought them time. Once the Bruins got going they flat out missed shots, which in turn, bought Frederik Andersen time to be the difference maker late.
- The Auston Matthews goal was filthy. Just an all world quick release placed perfectly under the bar. If I could blur out the Bruins logo I would watch it on loop all day.
- Toronto was able to play their game tonight. Whether it was having the last change (Tomas Plekanec on Patrice Bergeron), utilizing the stretch pass and speed, opening things up, they got to do a lot of the things they like to do. The Bruins will need to tighten that up a lot on Thursday.
- If you could offer the Bruins 42 shots, plus the other 18 they flat out missed, for Game 4 they’d take it. Surely they’ll want to be better defensively on Thursday but offensively I think they’ve got to be happy that they can consistently hang a pile of shots on the Leafs in good times or bad. Sometimes it just doesn’t fall the way you want but if you’re still getting the chances take them and move forward.
We’ll see you all again on Thursday night for Game 4.
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