Toronto’s Frederik Andersen has been getting a lot of work and even though he hasn’t been playing light’s out as of late he’s still playing well and giving the Leafs the confidence to play their game. It was just over two minutes into the game when Boston’s red hot David Pastrnak scored his 21st goal of the season giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Then it’s as if William Nylander started the parade for the Leafs, scoring his first goal of the night and tying the game up in the first period. This is when the momentum shifted in favor of the Buds. The second period got underway and Toronto elevated their game to another level. It seemed as if they were faster and hungrier than the Bruins.
James van Riemsdyk scored his 18th of the season followed by William Nylander’s second just 40 seconds after JVR got the Leafs the lead. Just over a minute later Nylander found he was open in the slot, again, and with a quick snap of the wrist Willy had his career first National Hockey League hat trick! Leafs Nation erupted!!
Rask was yanked and Zane McIntyre went between the pipes for the Bruins.
It didn’t take all that long for Boston to answer, as they always seem to do versus the Leafs.
The goals poured in as Pastrnak scored his second of the game just 35 seconds after Rask was yanked. With just over four minutes left in the second Krug scored a power play goal and just like that the Bruins were within a goal heading into the third period. If you recall when Toronto’s Matthews scored four goals in the first game, the Leafs lost. With Nylander scoring a hat trick the Leafs need to secure this win, enough is enough; these two points are huge.
What an entertaining game as the third period begun, the Leafs and Bruins exchanged momentum swings as the game went on. But it was Boston who found the back of the net first as the third period was just over half way complete when Ryan Spooner banged in a rebound. Five minutes later Connor Brown found himself going hard to the front of the net and a pass that was intended for Matthews hit a skate and ended up on Brown’s stick and quickly into the back of the net.
The Leafs have the lead, but this game is far from over! A typical finish to a game in Boston where the referee’s gifted Boston a power play with just three minutes left in regulation. Bergeron scores, make me sick, just classic Leafs vs Bruins.
As I spent the next minute or so yelling at the television, it was James van Riemsdyk who ended the charade and had a snipe over the shoulder of McIntyre to secure the Leafs the win in regulation. It’s a good thing as I don’t think I was prepared for this game to end in any other fashion.
Two points for Toronto, zero points for Boston, beautiful.
To me this was a huge character win for the Maple Leafs. The rookies produced a whopping 10 points in this game, that’s incredible when you think about it.
With four games lined up this week the Leafs start off with a double header going up against the Islanders tonight (on the road) followed by the Stars tomorrow (at home). They then have a night off before hosting the Blues on Thursday and the Sabres on Saturday.
Could it be possible that we fans get our first taste of Alexey Marchenko this week?
With the way Marchenko plays I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the lineup, and soon. Marchenko is 6’3” and 215 pounds, he’s not going to put up big numbers but hopefully reduce the goals against. He’s known as a decently mobile defender who knows his role and plays hard in his own zone and prides himself on making a good outlet pass. With the offensive that Toronto has, this could be just what the doctor ordered. Don’t expect him to be a stand out defender, he’s one of those guys that the less you hear of the better, that’s when you know he’s doing his job. He blocks shots, moves bodies, competes hard and makes smart decisions when dishing off the puck.
Can you say Babcock type player? As soon as I saw he was waived I thought “The Leafs are going to pick this kid up.”
A little icing on the cake is that Babcock has an idea of what Marchenko brings to the table, and he’s not the only one.
Nikita Zaitsev and Marchenko are both born in Russia and have played together before. They actually played on the same pairing at the 2016 Wolrd Championships before this season begun. A little comradery and familiarity never hurts when coming to a new team half way through the season.
I for one think the addition of Marchenko will help the Leafs now and for the future. Marchenko has a cap hit of 1.45 million and is signed for another season before he’s an RFA.
As of now no goalie has been confirmed for tonight's game.
Thanks for reading, have a great day and let’s hope for a big win tonight!
Go Leafs Go!