Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven

Discuss: Bruins’ incredible comeback pushes them past Toronto


It looked like after nine years between postseason series, the Toronto Maple Leafs would stick around for a little bit longer. The Boston Bruins had other plans.

Maple Leafs blueliner Cody Franson scored twice, former Bruins forward Phil Kessel added his fourth marker of the series early in the third period, and 22-year-old Nazem Kadri gave Toronto a 4-1 lead.

But the Bruins surged with three unanswered goals in the final 10:42 minutes of regulation, including markers by Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron just 31 seconds apart in the dying minutes of the third period. Boston took that momentum into overtime and sent Toronto home.

Here are the talking points:

  • Through 40 minutes, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara had already logged an unreal 22:10 minutes. The next highest on either team after two periods was Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf with 18:22 minutes. That’s partially due to the fact that Dennis Seidenberg suffered an undisclosed injury and was limited to 37 seconds. Chara went on to lead both teams with 35:46 minutes.
  • The Boston Bruins absolutely dominated on the draw during this game with a 70% success rate.
  • Bruins coach Claude Julien has been criticized lately for his reluctance to mix up his lines, but CSN New England noted that he did try swapping Tyler Seguin and Jaromir Jagr tonight.
  • With three goals in this series, Franson scored more often than every Leafs player except for Kessel. Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul matched Franson’s three goals in this series.
  • Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski scored a postseason goal for the first time in his NHL career. Kadri also found the back of the net for the first time in the playoffs.

Bruins’ second line officially goes under the microscope

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While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.

Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak
Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Chris KellyJoonas KemppainenZac Rinaldo

The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.

So, where is Krejci’s game now?

Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.

So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?

On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.

So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?

“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks