Tag Archives: bruins

End of the road

I feel bad for anyone that was watching the NBA playoffs last night.  You missed a thriller in Bean Town and a schlacking at the Capital.

And just to ice it off: *SPOILER ALERT* the Miami Heat take the ‘ship.

I told you.

The score was 4-1 when The Dream scored his first career playoff goal.  And it looked like that insurance marker was the dagger in the heart of the Boston faithful.  That was the Leafs second goal of the period, and they looked to be cruising into the second round where they’d meet King Henrik and the Rangers.

But then this happened.

Just ruthless, it reminded me of a Canucks game.  One from this season though, because they have been generally good in the third periods the past few years.  Everyone knows that you play to win and not to lose, and the only acceptable way to sit back on a lead is if your coaches name is Jacques Lemaire.  Because then you already know how the trap works, you’ve been doing it the entire season.

What they really needed to do last night was continue playing with energy, driving the net and capitalizing on chances.  We saw this in game five when the Bruins came close to tying the game and sending it into overtime.  And then we saw it on Sunday, when Lucic scored with 30 seconds left to make it 2-1.  And then there was last night.

Being a Canucks fan, it makes me a little happy to see such a collapse.  One that reminded me of the 0-3 hole the Flyers were against the Bruins in 2010 that saw them pushing it to game seven, being down three again and coming back to win the series.  Going all the way to the cup finals, where they lost to the Blackhawks.

Back to being a Canucks fan.  I can’t really be all that happy about the Leafs collapsing like this, because well, the Canucks were swept.  At least the Leafs played with heart, and never gave up on the series even when they were down 3-1.  The Canucks got one solid period from Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows, and maybe four or five shifts out of the Sedins.  Phil Kessel answered the media, scoring four goals, including the third goal last night, he also assisted on Kadri’s what should have been insurance marker.

I think after this series, the debate over that Kessel trade should be put to rest.  Along with Kessels four goals were two assists.  He scored the game winner in game six and a pretty important third goal in game seven.  Seguin had one point.  His one point did come in overtime of game seven though, so I guess that’s worth like three, but Kessel was the better player in this series.

Leafs fans have to be happy with the way their team played, they took the Bruins –who should be a favourite right now– to game seven.  Reimer was basically a brick wall, Kessel was hot, they played steady defensively and they played exciting hockey.  The only thing that they might be a little bit cheesed with is the fact they got dominated in the circle.  In game seven the Bruins won 43 face-offs.  The Leafs won 18.  Nobody on the Bruins team was under 50% in the circle.  Only one player for the Leafs was 50%.  That was Leo Komarov.

He had an awesome series.  And it all started with his fight with Chris Kelly in game one.

The Leafs were embarrassed in their first playoff game in nine years, and Komorov shook things up a little.  After that, the Leafs went back to playing their brand of hockey that got them into the playoffs.  Run and gun, with the stars scoring, and getting a little bit of help from their talented back-end.

When Morgan Reilly comes into the fray next season, they will have two of the most talented defensemen in the league in him and Gardiner.  This isn’t the last time that we’ll be seeing the Leafs in the playoffs.

I consider them to be a lot like the Islanders.  They’ll be here for a while, and this is just the start of their quest for Stanley.

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Six of eight are through and the Leafs and Rangers force game seven

Remember in game five of the Toronto-Boston series when James Reimer made that unbelievable toe-save on Patrice Bergeron? Well that very well could be the turning point in this series.  The score was 0-0 and Bergeron had a yawning cage, but somehow Reimer spread across and got a toe on a puck that was headed right for the back of the net.  If he doesn’t make that save, the series is done.

But it’s not, and the Leafs had a very very strong game six at home, with a 2-1 win thanks to a pair of goals in the second.  Phil Kessel had the eventual winner, and just like in game five, the Bruins came hard in the last few minutes of regulation, falling just short of tying it and sending the game to overtime.

In Manhattan, King Hank stole the show last night in what was probably Ovechkin’s best game of the series.  Lundqvist stopped 27 shots for the shutout, as the series had its second 1-0 game.  His 27 saves included this one on Ovechkin, who led his Capitals team in shots, laid the body and even blocked a few.

Right here is a prime example of what he did last night, and why he’s so dangerous.

But with two game sevens tonight, here are the three big factors in each series.

Toronto and Boston

1.) The ice is tilted in the Leafs favour.

When the Leafs went down 3-1 on a bad Phaneuf pinch in overtime, nobody was expecting them to come out of this series alive.  But with some stellar goaltending and timely goals, they’re right back in this thing.

The Leafs had a knack for getting wildly outshot and somehow mucking up a victory in the regular season, but they found out against Boston that this tactic wasn’t gonna work.  So after giving up pretty much 40 shots each game for the first five, they surrendered only 30 in game six.  Reimer was steady, but they didn’t need him to be a brick wall, because they carried the tempo for most of the game.

Brick Reimes and his save that turned this series around.

Brick Reimes and his save that turned this series around.

2.) The Bruins have done this before.

Two years ago, the Bruins stunned the Canucks in seven games.  They fell back 2-0 and stormed back to win the series in seven, at Rogers Arena.  And this team is pretty much identical.  Maybe you swap Thomas for Rask or Kaberle for Redden, but the core of this team is all there.

The Bruins celebrate as they win game seven in Vancouver.

The Bruins celebrate as they win game seven in Vancouver.

They know what it takes, and they’re probably not very happy that the Leafs have made this series so tough on them.  Especially since they’ve taken two of three at home.

3.) Phil has answered the media.

He’s scored three goals against his former team, and has silenced the critics that say he wouldn’t be able to perform in a playoff series against the Bruins.  He scored the eventual game winner last night, and has been reliable in his own end all series long.

Kessel has four points in this series, whereas Tyler Seguin has none and Dougie Hamilton has been a healthy scratch for a few games.  The “thank you Kessel” chants have gone from this:

to this:

Washington and New York

1.) The battle of the goalies.

Both Braden Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist have been sensational through the first six games of this series.  This is weird considering the Rangers and Capitals were the two hottest teams down the stretch and led the league in goals since the trade deadline.

The numbers of these two goalies are basically identical.  Holtby boasts a .938 save percentage whereas Hank boasts a .937, not to mention they’ve given up 12 and 11 goals respectively.

Ovechkin seems to have come out of hiding after he had a strong game last night, so Hank is gonna have to be fire.  And you’ve gotta think that Rick Nash will be a threat every chance he’s got the puck.  Holtby and Lundqvist are both up for the challenge.

2.) Home ice advantage.

Every single game in this series has been won at home ice.  So if the trend continues, Ovi and the Caps will be facing whoever prevails tonight in the Boston and Toronto series.

The Caps seem to like it at the Verizon Centre, going 15-8-1 in the regular season, and are 3-0 so far this post season.

I mean, who wouldn’t like skating out into a sea of red?

The Verizon Centre rivals the Shark Tank in San Jose in scariness.

The Verizon Centre rivals the Shark Tank in San Jose in scariness.

3.) Special teams.

The Rangers went 0-5 on the power-play last night, but the Caps? Oh, they didn’t have a single man advantage.  They had two power-plays in game five, going 1-2, and they’re gonna need to draw some penalties tonight if they want to advance.

The biggest piece to the Capitals offence is the power-play and if they can get a few man advantages they can put Mike Green to work.

They did it in game two, when they won it 1-0 in overtime, and tonight is probably going to boil down to special teams.  It’s gonna be a close matchup, just like every other game in this series, and one bad penalty could be lethal.

Predictions for tonight: Game seven in Boston is gonna be a hard-hitting, high-tempo game that comes down to one goal.  The Bruins are gonna come out hard, but Reimer will weather the storm, giving the Leafs a boost for the second and third.  Another 2-1 game in favour of the Leafs.

Game seven at the Verizon Centre will be a lot like the rest of this series.  Low scoring with stellar goaltending in both ends.  Ovechkin will break out of his cocoon and score the game winner.  We’ll see a final score of 3-2 in overtime, and a Capitals-Leafs Conference Semi Finals.

Isles play their last game on Long Island

The speedy Islanders led by John Tavares, were one unlucky deflection away from winning last nights game six in regulation.  Even getting to game six against the stacked Penguins surprised the hockey world, and this team will be a force for years to come.

But they were five minutes away from forcing the Pens into game seven.  And if this Paul Martin clapper from the point hadn’t deflected off of Frans Nielsens stick and gone perfectly bar-down, then we’d be seeing one game series tonight.

The Isles have gone from the basement to a legitimate playoff team after showing the entire NHL what they can do this postseason.  And their fans on Long Island are just gonna have to cross the bridge over to Brooklyn to cheer on their team at the Barclay’s Centre.

Here are three things that leaped out at me and force fed me formula.

1.) John Tavares held his own against Sidney Crosby in this series.

We all knew Johnny T was good, but what I never knew was how friggin’ strong this guy is.  The big matchup in this series was him versus Crosby and he didn’t finish second best in any categories.  Crosby did score more points, but Tavares was dominant almost every single shift.

Not only did he have an incredible playoff series, but he was nominated for the Hart Trophy earlier this week.  He is running up against Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.  And it was only just a few years ago where the thought of anyone other than Ovechkin and Crosby winning the Hart was unbearable.  But this kids for real.

Islanders fan believe so too, because in game four when the Isles shelled former first rounder Marc-Andre Fleury for six goals, Tavares was the man who scored the fifth and eventual game winner.  It was a pretty one too, as he made Brooks Orpik look like a pylon and went shelf on the Flower.

2.) Every team since 04′ that has drafted first overall is a legit team now, except for the Oilers.

Here’s a list:

2004 Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin  Russia Forward Dynamo Moscow Russia
2005 Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby  Canada Forward Rimouski Océanic QMJHL
2006 St. Louis Blues Erik Johnson  USA Defenceman United States NTDP NAHL
2007 Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane  USA Forward London Knights OHL
2008 Tampa Bay Lightning Steven Stamkos  Canada Forward Sarnia Sting OHL
2009 New York Islanders John Tavares  Canada Forward London Knights OHL
2010 Edmonton Oilers Taylor Hall  Canada Forward Windsor Spitfires OHL
2011 Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins  Canada Forward Red Deer Rebels WHL
2012 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov  Russia Forward Sarnia Sting OHL

Ovechkin has made the Capitals a force year in and year out, Crosby has done the same for the Pens, and that includes a Stanley Cup and Gold at the Olympics.

Erik Johnson never panned out in St. Louis, but they received assets in Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.  Stewart led the team in points, and Shattenkirk in points for a defensemen.

Everyone knows what Patrick Kane has done in Chicago with the help of captain Jonathan Toews.

Stamkos has become that guy that can compete against Ovechkin for the Richard, and even helped St. Louis win an Art Ross at the age of 37.

And then there’s Tavares, his point totals have increased every year that he’s been in the NHL, and coincidentally the Islanders have rocketed up the standings as well.

The Oilers have Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Yakupov and they should be a force soon, but they’ve still got a lot of work to do.

The Avs won the draft lottery, and will probably take Nate Mackinnon, who will make their top three centres Duchene, Mackinnon and Stastny.  Lethal.

3.) The Pens won’t win the Stanley Cup.

I know, it’s a pretty big accusation.

When you think about it, what are they gonna do if they run into a hot goaltender?  Nabokov was alright in the series, but he still let in a lot of questionable goals like the one off of Douglas Murray’s stick.

If the Isles had say, Lundqvist of the Rangers or even Holtby from the Capitals this series probably would have gone the other way.

They’ve got Chris Anderson and the pesky Sens in the second round.  Anderson would have been a shoe-in for the Vezina had he not gotten hurt earlier in the season.  He’s got a 950 save percentage and a 1.8 goals against average.  This was against the number two ranked Habs.  This goaltending combined with the fire power that the Sens have, which could be bolstered if Spezza is cleared, will be a tough task for the Stanley Cup favourites.

And what if they do make it through?  Then they’ve gotta either face Rask, Lundqvist, Holtby or Reimer.  All three are better than the two goalies that the Pens have.  I feel they could take Reimer and the Leafs, but the Capitals have proved they can play tight defensively, Lundqvist is a Vezina finalist and the Rask and the Bruins are just too powerful and stingy.

I do predict that Anderson will shut down the Pens offence and that the Sens will take it in six.  Anyways, everyone loves an underdog right?

White and blue day spoiled by the big bad Bruins

Leafs fans flocked to Maple Leaf Square last night to watch their team get pummeled by the Bruins.  People were anticipating a well-fought close game but were greeted with a 5-2 loss in the first home game in Toronto in nine years.

that's a whole lot of white and blue

that’s a whole lot of white and blue

The site of all these Leafs fans reminds me of a similar day in June of 2011, when the Canucks got embarrassed in game seven by the exact same team.

And that led to this…

But let’s just hope that doesn’t happen in Toronto if they happen to lose again on Wednesday.

But any who, my top three:

1.) The Rangers scored some goals

After going through the first two games 0-2 with one goal, which happened to bounce in off of John Erskine’s skate, the Blue-shirts potted four at Madison Square Gardens.

Brian Boyle broke the 124 minute scoreless streak, while Derek Brassard led the way with a gino and three apples as the Rangers took the Caps 4-3.

And a notable addition to the lineup was Marc Staal, who played just his first game since this:

Just watching it makes my vision blur.

Game four is tomorrow at MSG.

2.) James Reimer has seen 118 shots in three games

That’s a whole lotta’ rubber.

Reims has been solid throughout the series, but they really have to limit the amount of shots he faces if they want to win this series.  He has faced 19 more than Tuukka Rask in the other end, who faced almost half of his 99 shots last night as he made 45 stops on 47 shots.

He and the Leafs look to even er’ up at two tomorrow night at the ACC.

3.) Duck hunting in the ghetto

Pavel Datsyuk and the Red Wings evened the series up at two last night in Detroit.

The magician tied it up with a snipe on Jonas Hiller late in the third period, and the Wings are headed back to Anaheim for some duck hunting in the state of California.

The Red Wings have been blown out in both of their losses but have managed to come back and win close games the night after.

Let’s just hope for the sake of my hockey pool that Datsyuk can snipe some ducks in SoCal.

And on tonights resume:

The Canucks try to back up Bieksa’s stupid diving comments, more bloodbath in Ottawa, and the Isles/Wild look to tie it up against the Pens and Hawks.

Zero wins in Canada

With the second night of playoff hockey in the books, the Canucks and Leafs were outscored by a combined 7-2.  Both teams opened the scoring in their respective series’, but some undisciplined play on each end sparked a string of unanswered goals.

For the Leafs, the hype of the nine year absence was short-lived, as after the first five minutes of the game the B’s took it to the Leafs offensively, peppering James Reimer with 40 shots.  If not for Reims the score could have been worse than 4-1.  The Leafs may have gotten away with being outshot in the regular season but in the playoffs it’s just not gonna work.  Especially when you’re up against a team like the Bruins.

The Canucks-Sharks game was close up until the third period.  It’s like they followed the regular season script to a tee; play a close game for two periods and let the foot off the gas just in time for the third.  Some notable absences in the Canucks lineup were Mason Raymond, Zack Kassian and the Sedins, who will all need to pick it up in game three.  It would be nice to see Kassian drive the net and for Raymond to just sit a whole game.

Luongo made a sick save on Havlat though.

But here we go, the top three stories from last night.

1.) Pens are too good

Where do we start? A five-nothing schlacking in game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs without the best player in the world, and having a 40 goal scorer in James Neal limp off the ice halfway through.  I’m hoping it’s just playoff jitters for the Isles because if it keeps going this way, the series will be done in four, and that will give them time to rest some injured troops.

But after last nights performance from the Pens, I wouldn’t be surprised if they rest Jussi Jokinen (who took a knee-on-knee) and Neal for the rest of the series.

Same with Crosby, I mean, if the series begins to go sour for the Pens then they’ll bring Sid in, but until that happens he’s better off sitting in the press-box.

2.) Brad Marchand and James Van Riemsdyk do not like each-other. 

Being a Canucks fan, I feel a little bit bad for Leafs fans after they got pummelled last night by the Bruins.  Watching the game, it looked a lot like how the Cup Finals did whenever the Canucks were playing in Boston.  Just a bunch of big bastards running around smashing the Leafs and scoring goals.  And then you have damn Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron out there who are both stupidly good defensively.

The worst thing though, is the fact that they’ve got to put up with Brad Marchand.  He is the ultimate pest, and has already gotten under the skin of the Leafs, particularly JVR.

Spear to the nuts, swing and a miss.

This should be awesome if this series goes long, it just would’ve been better if JVR was swapped with Kadri.

3.) Logan Couture and his jibs

This guy is ugly.  Real ugly.

Yup, pretty much hit the nail right on the head with those two.

Not only is he ugly though, but he draws a lot of penalties and scores some goals for the Sharks.  Just four minutes after the Canucks opened the scoring, err Raffi Torres opened the scoring, Couture and his jibs drew a pretty soft call off of Kassian.  And to make matters worse, who else but friggin’ Couture to score the goal.

At least Raffi is still a Canuck, but they’re definitely gonna need to convert Couture over too.

And if I see another ‘Luongo sucks’ tweet I’m gonna lose it.  Could have been 3-0 Sharks after the first period.

The East

It’s playoff time baby so stop what you’re doing and grab a snickers.

But seriously, if you have a job you should probably quit it.

The East:

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins VS. #8 New York Islanders

First off nobody cares about how the teams matched up in the regular season.

What’s up: I can only imagine how pissed off Islanders fans were last night when they realized that the Bruins losing to the Sens meant a date with the Penguins.  The Pens are an absolute juggernaut, and if Crosby comes back to the lineup early on, I don’t see the Isles winning even one game.  With Sid in as the first line centre that drops Jokinen into a third line role, and Brandon Sutter into a fourth line.  When you look at the Isles up front– Taveres, Nielsen, Aucoin and Cizikas– it doesn’t even compare to what the Pens have to offer.

Matchup: Sidney Crosby VS. John Taveres – Both of these guys are getting serious attention for the Hart, and rightfully so.  It took Marty St. Louis 25 days to pass Crosby’s point total, and Crosby is still tied for third in the league in points.  Crosby’s 1.56 points-per-game is the highest of his career, and if he comes back and produces at that same pace, I don’t know how any team can stop the Pens.  But Taveres on the other hand, if you take him out of the lineup, you take the entire Islanders team out of the dance.  He was their leader all season, and in a regular 82 game season he would have tallied 50 goals.

Gamebreakers: For the Penguins it has to be Iggy.  This is his first real shot on a

where is his Flames uni?

where is his Flames uni?

contender(The Flames cup run doesn’t count) and Iginla, who is already a clutch performer will most likely be paired up on a line with Crosby and either Kunitz or Dupuis.  Basically just a recipe for success.  Let’s not forget the extremely potent power-play combination of Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Iginla and Letang

And for the Islanders; Michael Grabner.  This guy can fly, he won the fastest skater competition when he was a rookie.  He can score some goals too.  He’s one of those streaky bastards where you never know if he’s gonna produce or become invisible.  But with the heavy artillery primarily focused on Taveres and Moulson it may give Grabner some room to soar.

Prediction: The Isles are headed up, but it’s the luck of the draw this year.  The Pens are just too good, and will take the Islanders in four.  Let’s just hope I’m wrong.

#2 Montreal Canadiens VS. #7 Ottawa Senators

What’s up: Unlike the Islanders, the Habs and Sens were both pretty happy last night with what happened in Boston.  The Habs won the division, which ensures them home-ice in the first two rounds, and the Sens avoided Pittsburgh.  Both teams are coming off of over-achieving seasons  so this series could go either way.  It’s gonna come down to a coaches duel, as both Maclean and Therrien should be put into consideration for the Jack Adams.  The biggest hurdle that these two teams will have to overcome is the intense travel schedule.  I wonder if they’re just gonna take Mega Bus?

Matchup: P.K. Subban VS. Erik Karlsson – These guys are young, they’re good and they can both quarterback a power-play.  Subban led all defenseman in points with 38 and came second in power-play goals for a defenseman with seven.  The only guy with more was Andrei Markov.  Subban had a Norris calibre season.  The winner of the Norris last season was Karlsson, who if he hadn’t severed 70% of his achilles in February probably would have ran head-to-head with Subban.  Game one will be his fourth game back and the Sens are gonna have him logging lots of minutes if they wanna get through to the second round.

Gamebreakers: Montreal has two bright stars for their organization, their names are Alex

the two little munchkins and coach

the two little munchkins and coach

Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher.  Galchenyuk had a hot start to the season but cooled off near the end, and if he can lead the secondary scoring the Habs will be a threat.  Gallagher just needs to continue to do what he does best.  And that is to piss off the opposing team and score some goals.

The return of Jason Spezza is like going out and getting a superstar at the trade-deadline.  He is good.  If he can come back healthy at some point in this series, it’s gonna give the Senators an added boost.  They’ve made it this far with an AHL lineup and having Spezza back would be huge.

Prediction: The series is gonna go long and I am predicting an upset.  The Sens will take the Habs in seven.  Book it.  Craig Anderson will outplay Carey Price and Spezza will make a return that will bolster the offence.

#3 Washington Capitals VS. #6 New York Rangers

What’s up: For the fourth time in five years, the Caps and Rangers will see each-other in the post-season.  If the playoffs started a month ago, both of these squads would not be in this position, as they both popped the clutch and chucked it into sixth gear for the final month of the regular season.  The revival of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green may become the achilles heel of the Rangers’ season.  But the same can be said of King Hank who looks to be en-route to his second Vezina in two years.

Matchup: Alex Ovechkin VS. Rick Nash – Ovi and Nash are both known to put their teams on their backs and run the ball, errrrr puck.  If Maria Kirilenko continues to show up at the Verizon centre, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Ovechkin will continue this ridiculous pace that saw him score 23 goals in his last 23 games to secure the Rocket Richard.  And this is Nash’s first ever playoff appearance on a real team, so he won’t have to put too much stress on his back this year, but he’s got to be that offensive force that goes toe-to-toe with Ovechkin.  If Nash can’t match him, then I don’t know if the Rangers will get through to the second round.

Gamebreakers: In the Nation’s Capital, the Caps are gonna be relying heavily on Mike Green to continue to quarterback this top-ranked power-play.  At just over 26%, the Capitals power-play will be a huge part in them beating Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers.  With Greens grown maturity and hipster lifestyle, let’s just hope that he can play a little bit of defence as well.

Watch as Green picks the shit out of that corner and goes top-cheese.

At Madison Square Garden, Derek Stepan is that quiet threat that can rip holes through the Capitals defence.  If he can continue being that secondary scoring threat, and I think he will in this series, then the Rangers will have a chance.  That is, if Nash can mirror Ovechkin, which is no small task.

Prediction: Both teams are looking to keep up the solid play, but Ovechkin and company will prove to powerful for the Rangers.  Especially if the blue-shirts find themselves getting into a little bit of penalty trouble.  Capitals in six.

#4 Boston Bruins VS. #5 Toronto Maple Leafs

What’s up: I don’t even know if people blogged the last time that the Leafs were in the playoffs, but that doesn’t matter anymore, because they’re in.  And it’s not like they just barely squeaked by, the Leafs had a legitimate season, and that’s why they have a pretty good chance against the Bruins.  Sure, Boston has generally beaten up on the Leafs in the past, and sure a Leafs-Habs first round would have been one for the ages, but the Bruins are the fate, and Leafer fans are gonna have to live with it.  These two teams play a very similar type of hockey, and the big guns in Toronto are gonna make it or break it for the Leafs. This is the time for Kessel to step up and score his first goal against his former team.  He’s also gonna have to outplay Seguin and Hamilton so that the Leafs advance and the comments about how bad of a trade Burke made in acquiring Kessel was, are silenced.

Matchup: Zdeno Chara VS. Leafs Offence – Chara is big, and Kessel is pretty small.  With that being said, Kessel is gonna need some help from the likes of Kadri, Lupul and Bozak.  The Leafs have quite a bit of fire-power up front and a generally weak defensive corps, so if they want to win this series, their big-guns will have to be firing on all cylinders.  They’ve got to take more shots than they give up.  The Leafs are gonna have to stop being out shot by a country mile, because in the playoffs that’s not gonna fly, especially against a team that is so defensively sound in Boston.  When you look at the fact that it would be Chara versus the Leafs offence in Boston and Subban versus the Leafs offence in Montreal then you start to realize how much better the Leafs would have matched up against the Habs.

Gamebreakers: Dressed in black and yellow, the guy who all Leafs fans will hate by the end of

not the nose Dion, fuck

not the nose Dion, fuck

the series is Brad Marchand.  He did it when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup against the Canucks, and he’s gonna do it again in the first round against the Leafs.  He is an agitator, and the Leafs cannot start taking penalties because of this huge-nosed prick, or else they can kiss the season good-bye.

The Leafs have their own little pest that draws tons of penalties, too.  Nazem “The Dream” Kadri will look to relish his first opportunity at playoff hockey by getting under the skin of the Bruins and provide some lethal secondary scoring.  The big matchup, after the Chara versus the world one, will be Kadri and Marchand.  We saw it with Gallagher and we’ll see it again with Marchand.  The two little weasels will be at each-others throats like Homer on Bart.


Ouch.

Prediction: This series is going to be brutal and whoever comes out of it is will be battered and bruised.  Chara and the Bruins will end up being too tough for the Leafs, and the B’s will take it in seven.