With the Boston Bruins struggling at the end of the regular season, they came ready to play Wednesday night in game 1 against the Maple Leafs. The Bruins got back to their tough and physical style of play which led them to one of their best offensive performances of the season. Milan Lucic came out and played like a man on a mission. It seems he has heard all the criticism considering he went out and hit everything moving last night. But with him playing so physical it opened up a lot of ice for David Krejci to make plays which led to him finishing the game with a goal and two assists. Lucic did not score in the game, but he had two assists and was a big reason the Bruins played like they did.
Boston came out with an offensive burst that fans have not seen in a couple months. With the Maple Leafs scoring an early goal, and Bruins fans shaking their head at sloppy play, the Bruins got back to what they know and turned things around quickly. The game got physical immediately with early hits and Frazer McLaren and Zdeno Chara getting in each others face within the first five minutes of the game. The Leafs led for most of the first until under five minutes when a Wade Redden slap shot sneaked through James Reimer, a shot he probably should have saved. Redden got on the board again when his shot was tipped by Nathan Horton to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead with only 12 seconds left in the period.
The rest of the game was more of the same from the Bruins. Physical play led to the Maple Leafs taking bad penalties including two cross checking calls on Colton Orr retaliating on clean hits. The Maple Leafs may have led the league in hits and fights, they are way out of their league if they want to play tough with the Bruins. Mixed in all the big hits and scrums, David Krejci scored a goal on a rebound of an odd man rush to give him his second point of the game. Krejci also set up Johnny Boychuk’s rocket of a goal late in the second to complete the scoring for the Bruins. Phil Kessel was the normal shell of himself against the Bruins. He was an early +1 when the Leafs took the lead, but finished the game even and with only one shot on net. For a player that led his team in points he continues to be shut down by the Bruins defense. It has been four years now since Kessel left Boston, but the Bruins fans let him hear it the whole game. Toronto will not win the series if their best offensive player does not show up against his former team.
The Krejci line was clearly the best line on the ice Wednesday night registering six points, but the Bergeron line also stepped up their game and played well. Tyler Seguin did not get on the scoresheet but his speed opened things up for the rest of his team, not to mention he looked strong on the power play. Brad Marchand got back to playing like the “little ball of hate” that he is. He was all over the ice, strong on the puck,and most importantly getting under the skin of the Maple Leafs. Late in the game James Van Riemsdyk gave Marchand a shot below the belt while making a line change, Marchand turned and took a full swing with this stick nearly hitting Van Riemsdyk. Though I do not like Marchands reaction, it is a very good thing to see that he is already getting under the skin of the Maple Leafs. Marchand is a good offensive player, but he is at his best when he is playing scrappy and being an agitator.
One thing that I did not like in this game is the fact that Jaromir Jagr is not playing on a top line or with more talent around him. His line along Chris Kelly and Casper Daugavins did play well, but when you have the active leader in playoff points, you need to put more talent around him. I thought Jagr and Carl Soderberg had some good chemistry developing late in the season, and though I understand the reason behind sitting Soderberg, I think him and Jagr could have a big impact on that third line. Jagr dominated the puck when he was on the ice and opens up so much space on the power play, but if you give him a legitimate scorer around him, the third line could become another weapon to help this Bruins team make a deep run. With that said, the Bruins came out and outplayed Toronto in every aspect of the game. Toronto is going to have to match the intensity and physical play of the Bruins, or this is going to be a very long series for them.
Filed Under: Boston Bruins
About the Author: I am a Freelance Production Assistant for Comcast Sportsnet and former New York Rangers intern. I am an enthusiast of all sports and want to share my knowledge with those who are interested in reading what I have to say. Follow me on Twitter @ shmity91
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