So, the Maple Leafs’ first playoff game since the spring of 2004 didn’t go like folks in Toronto had hoped.
The Maple Leafs were soundly thumped by a final score of 4-1 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.
The Leafs, who actually opened the scoring, were outshot 40-20 and couldn’t match the Bruins’ tenacity in all three zones of the rink.
“We were responding too much to what they were doing,” Leafs defenceman Mark Fraser told Sportsnet.ca on Thursday.
“We had a pretty good start but they weathered the storm nicely and then just kind of brought it right back against us. We really need to dictate.
“They had a great forecheck (Wednesday) night and just kind of kept us in our zone.”
Meanwhile, the Bruins, Stanley Cup champions from 2011, are expecting another nasty affair in Game 2.
On Thursday, the National Hockey League suspended Bruins’ defenseman Andrew Ference one game for his elbow to the head of Leafs’ forward Mikhail Grabovski.
That wasn’t the only incident of note.
Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand accused James van Riemsdyk of spearing him “in the privates.”
“He speared me in the privates, so I kinda reacted,” Marchand told CSNNE.com. “It’s pretty simple.
“It was the end of the game and we were up by a couple of goals, so it seemed like they were trying to send a message. But stuff happens in hockey. It’s a different game in the playoffs. It’s a completely different atmosphere where the game amps up a little bit, and it gets a lot more physical.”