Now the Leafs and Bruins are arguing about faceoffs


A predominant theme has emerged in the early part of the Stanley Cup playoffs:


More specifically, cheating on faceoffs.

The topic has already arisen in the Vancouver-San Jose and Chicago-Minnesota series and is now making waves in Toronto-Boston — the Bruins have dominated throughout the series, but Game 3 was their most dominant effort yet.

Boston won 60 percent of its draws and 71 percent in the defensive zone, results that Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle questioned.

“Specifically when you’re at home, you think that you would be afforded some of the staples of the opposition having to be down first and stop,” Carlyle told TSN, regarding the number of times his centers were waved out.

“In our review, there was some things that were going on out there that we don’t agree with.”

Boston head coach Claude Julien’s response?

“It’s going to be interesting to see whether the referees and the linesmen just do their job and not worry about who’s crying wolf.”

Faceoffs have been a major source of controversy not just this playoff, but during the regular season as well.

At the start of 2013, the NHL implemented a new rule preventing faceoff participants from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the draw.

Any player caught doing so would be given a two-minute delay of game minor.

In the postseason, a new issue has arisen — players getting tossed out.

Toronto’s Tyler Bozak was booted from a number of draws during Game 3 (when he asked why, Bozak was told he wasn’t coming to a complete stop before the puck was dropped) and Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu got a “stern talking-to from linesmen a handful of times,” during Sunday’s win over Chicago.

“It seemed like just from watching, when Bozie was coming down [with his stick], they were starting to come up and he was trying to counteract that and he was getting tossed,” Toronto’s Jay McClement explained. “It’s tough when you’re getting tossed all the time.

“It’s tough to cheat the way you normally do and time it because then you just get tossed more and more.”

‘Just another game’ for the party-spoiling Bruins

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Three

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ first home playoff game since 2004 – there have been two lockouts since then – didn’t quite go as planned.

The visiting Boston Bruins silenced the crowd at the Air Canada Centre and outside in Maple Leafs Square with a 5-2 victory to take Game 3 of the series.

The Bruins should be used to spoiling big playoff parties in Canadian cities. In 2011, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in a Game 7 victory over the Canucks in Vancouver.

And the 2013 Bruins seemed rather indifferent to the emotions of all those Toronto hockey fans.

“I understand it’s their first playoff game in a while, but it’s just another game, just another building,” Bruins’ forward David Krejci told the National Post. “Obviously it was loud, but it’s just another game.”

Those who had hoped to attend the first playoff game in Toronto since 2004 had to dig deep into their wallets, too.

Cheap tickets were going for as low as $205 at Stubhub. More expensive tickets were nearing the $1,000-mark.

A lot of money, but no victory for the Leafs, who now trail in the series 2-1.

“We did a lot of good things,” Leafs’ head coach Randy Carlyle told the Toronto Star. “But the mistakes we made aren’t going to allow us to win many hockey games.”

Video: Bruins’ Thornton fights Leafs’ Fraser

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two

Game 2 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final between the Maple Leafs and the Bruins went to Toronto.

The series is now tied 1-1 as it shifts back to Toronto for Games 3 and 4. But the battle lines have been drawn, as evidence by a fight between Bruins’ tough guy Shawn Thornton and Mark Fraser of the Maple Leafs with one second remaining in the third period of Toronto’s 4-2 win.

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Discuss: Leafs’ big guns burn Bruins


While the Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup changes were a story going into Game 2, they beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 because of the usual suspects. James van Riemsdyk, Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul (twice) found the net as the Buds flaunted their firepower to tie the series 1-1.

Let’s discuss this beast, shall we?

  • James Reimer stopped 38 out of 40 shots on Saturday. How much more does he need to do to start getting some respect among fans and pundits?
  • Speaking of easy (and possibly unfair) targets, Phil Kessel scored his first playoff goal as a Maple Leaf in exciting fashion. Can he lead Toronto to a series win against his former team in Boston?
  • Dennis Seidenberg was a -3 without Zdeno Chara. Is Claude Julien justified in breaking that defensive pairing up or should he make sure they’re attached at the hip?
  • Jaromir Jagr has been a weapon for Boston, yet he’s had a tough start to this series. What might get the future Hall of Famer going?
  • More of an observation than a question: Tyler Seguin might be due for a big game. He didn’t score but had eight shots on goal and made some nifty moves.
  • Who do you expect to win this series and how long do you expect it to go?
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Boston Marathon bombing survivor takes part in Bruins’ pre-game


The Boston Bruins decided to make Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman Game 2’s honorary fan banner captain on Saturday.

This marks his first public appearance since that tragic incident, according to CSNNE.com. Bauman released the following statement before the game.

“I want to thank everyone for their amazing support for me and all those injured and their families. I’m making great progress and I thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Please continue to respect our space at this time. I want to thank the Bruins players and organization for the generosity and support for all those impacted. Like all those in Black and Gold I can’t wait to see them on another quest for the cup. Go Bruins!”

CSNNE.com reports that Bauman played a role in identifying bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, so it’s a fitting honor for the Bruins fan.

Check out video of that moment

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Here are a few photos/screen captures from that stirring moment:

source: Getty Images

(Via Getty)source:

(Via Yahoo’s Josh Gold-Smith)

source:  (Via Linda Mae)

(Via Bruins)