Wednesday represented the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first playoff game since 2004. The Boston Bruins made them look like a team that hasn’t been to the postseason in nearly a decade, beating them 4-1 in a game that might have been even more lopsided than the scored indicates (due to goals that were disallowed, among other factors).
Let’s get the discussion rolling:
So, was this mismatch more about how strong the Bruins really are at full-strength or how flawed the Maple Leafs might be?
On a scale of 1-10, how poorly do you think Toronto fans and media will react to this game?
Speaking of which, who will get the most blame: Phil Kessel, James Reimer, Dion Phaneuf or someone else?
Food for thought on Reimer: some of the goals he allowed were pretty bad, but the young goalie did face 40 shots. On the other hand, he’s been struggling lately. How long is his leash in Toronto?
One Buds player who did have a nice night was James van Riemsdyk. He fired five shots on goal, including an early 1-0 marker. Will he be a factor in this series?
Some Leafs fans critiqued Toronto’s “truculent” tendency to dress more than one enforcer. Should Randy Carlyle change that tactic?
Name some positives for the Maple Leafs. Optional choice: “It’s just one game.”
Does this lopsided win strengthen the argument that Boston is a championship contender? Discuss the Bruins’ chances of winning it all once more.
Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference might draw some attention from the league office for this elbow on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski, which happened in the first period of Game 1 on Wednesday:
Referees must have missed the hit, as Ference didn’t receive a penalty on the play.
The Boston Bruins look like a different team in Game 1 of the 2013 playoffs than they did during the last day of the regular season.
As expected, Jaromir Jagr returned from his flu-like symptoms. To the surprise of some, the B’s made Dougie Hamilton a healthy scratch while Nathan Horton returned from an upper-body injury that resulted from a Jarome Iginla fight.
Horton, 27, has dealt with a series of concussion issues in the last few seasons, so Boston’s front office likely attempted to be as cautious as possible with the big forward.
While he can be a hot-and-cold guy scoring-wise, Bruins fans likely remember several big goals from the team’s 2011 Stanley Cup run. As a pending unrestricted free agent, Horton has plenty of motivation to score some more.
One depth bit: Rich Peverley has also been scratched for Kaspars Daugavins.
The Boston Bruins have eased Dougie Hamilton into the mix in his rookie season, but Claude Julien apparently isn’t that comfortable with throwing the 19-year-old defenseman out there against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1.