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Rick Zamperin: Maple Leafs fall apart in Game 7, season is over

27 April, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Rick Zamperin: Maple Leafs fall apart in Game 7, season is over

"Yeah, it was not the way we saw it going", said Gardiner, after the Toronto Maple Leafs blew their third lead of the night in the third period and lost Game 7 to the Boston Bruins, 7-4.

Defenseman Torey Krug got the game tying goal just a minute into the third period.

This is the first playoff series victory for the Bruins since they defeated the Detroit Red Wings in five games in the 2013/2014 playoffs.

While Tuukka Rask was anything but extraordinary for the Bruins, their defence made the adjustments and limited the damage. The Calder Trophy snub (he didn't finish in the top three of the vote) now has more time to get up to speed with a second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning rather than head into the offseason on a sour note, individually and team-wise. "That means you've got to score seven and that's a tough chore, even though it seemed like it was certainly possible in the first half (of the game)". "The guys have confidence in our goaltending; they have all year". It's not Jake Gardiner's fault the goalie let in one-third of the shots he faced while Gardiner was on the ice.

The regular season also featured Anders Bjork and Ryan Donato making their marks on the Bruins, who dressed as many as six rookies for some regular-season games. It was unprecedented to insert so much youth into an National Hockey League lineup and accomplish what the Bruins did in the regular season. At least not anymore, not after the No. 14 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft's sensational performance in the Bruins' first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. "We had three of them".

Unfortunately, Toronto's best defenceman, Morgan Rielly, experienced such fate in Wednesday's do-or-die clash, taking a fluttering (thankfully) Chara slapper off the mouth - a split second after Brad Marchand ducked to avoid the projectile. "The most important game of the season, I didn't show up". Toronto allowed five or more goals in three out of their four losses.

Like last season's series against the Washington Capitals, many lessons were taught to this young group of Leafs' players.

Another scary moment happened in this game, as Adam McQuaid hustled back to stop a risky Toronto chance and crashed hard into the boards. While the Bruins did have two shots on goal, the Leafs converted on the man advantage as Patrick Marleau tipped a point shot by Jake Gardiner underneath the pad of Rask and the Maple Leafs had an early 1-0 lead.

In the biggest game of the Toronto Maple Leafs' season, nothing seemed to go right for Jake Gardiner.

Trying to pin the Bruins' Game 7 issues exclusively on Rask is dumb.

Ultimately, under leadership by a core group of veterans, the Bruins remained calm during the second intermission and recovered to put forth their best period of the series in the closing stanza.

"We think we're going to win", Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. We were in good position, up by one in the third, and a couple of mistakes cost us.

"Well, he's got a lot to learn", Babcock said. The fact that he didn't, shouldn't lead people to make unwarranted criticisms of his play. "Obviously, you're trying to win the Cup".

But the Bruins came back once again when Heinen corralled a loose puck in front a beat Andersen at 9:10 to cap stretch of four goals on 11 combined shots.


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