BY: Jeff Schneberk @Game7overtime
Well that game did not live up to my expectations, or anyone else’s really. It was boring for the most part and it should not have been boring. Friday’s game was boring too, the only difference was they won that one.
“They don’t screen the goalie,” said Hockey Night commentator Don Cherry. “If they can see it (the puck), they are going to stop it.”
There is something not quite right about this Leaf team, and even though it has only been two games (three if you count back to last Saturday night’s embarrassment in Vancouver), it is never too soon to start worrying about these Leafs.
There was a lot of talk about the Game 7 playoff game from May, how good it was, then how bad it got; last time was far too much of the bad. One nice goal, and three against, one was into an empty net, but was more aggravating who scored it.
A lot of the blame went to defenseman Paul Ranger, who fell on goalie James Reimer allowing the go-ahead goal. Nobody will mention that Ranger is the one who fed a long pass to Lupul who went down and scored to tie the game at 1-1.
You can blame injuries to possibly three of the team’s centremen, but in this league, the best teams are the ones who keep pushing even when the injuries pile up. Everybody was counting down the days for Clarkson’s return two Fridays ago, now it’s waiting until Bozak’s return, don’t even think about Bolland’s return.
There are still three top guys on this team and through the past three games, only managed an average of less than one goal in each (Van-0, NJ-1, Bos-1).
Something is still wrong with this team, the level of talent here and they can only score one goal.
The biggest difference between this game and the last time these two teams played is the playoff game was awesome to the point it got crazy, tonight was just boring.
Boston killed off a penalty late in the game when Soderberg was sent off for holding the stick. The Maple Leafs went 0 for 3 on the power play.
They had grabbed a 1-0 lead on Chara’s power-play goal off a rebound 15:27 into the opening period. David Krejci won the faceoff back to defenceman Torey Krug, who sent a cross-ice pass to Jarome Iginla.
The winger slipped a backhand on net that Chara, positioned in front, banged past Reimer before two Maple Leafs defencemen could clear the puck.
If it wasn’t for solid play by Reimer it could have been a bigger deficit for Toronto. Boston outshot the Maple Leafs 14-7 in the opening period, keeping the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches.
He made 31 stops.
Bruins winger Chris Kelly fired a shot off the crossbar 90 seconds into the game and Reimer made nice stops on close bids by Krug and Iginla about 20 seconds apart 5 minutes into the game.
“At the start of the game they were all over us,” Carlyle said. “In the second, we played better.”
But in the second, the Maple Leafs outshot Boston 18-10 and controlled play for lengthy stretches.
Toronto tied the game at 1 on Lupul’s goal late in the second. Paul Ranger sent a long clearing pass to Lupul, who broke in down the right wing before firing a shot that beat Rask over his left shoulder, slipping the puck just inside the right post.
There were a fairly large number of blue Maple Leafs’ home jerseys sprinkled throughout the stands, and a big roar went up when Lupul scored.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday night vs Minnesota.