Post-game notes: Maple Leafs vs. Bruins 3/19/12

Something about playing the Maple Leafs brings out the absolute best in the Bruins. Maybe the “Thank you Kessel” chants really pump them up. Maybe the Leafs are just the type of team that the Bruins can straight dominate with ease. Whatever it is, no one is complaining. This was the sixth and final meeting between the two teams this season, and the Bruins have swept them for the first time in two decades.

First period:

The Bruins didn’t have to wait long to get the jump they needed in this game. For the second straight game, Chris Kelly notched the first goal of the game only 2:25 into the period. Pouliot, who seems to have a knack at being in the right place at the right time passes it to Kelly who backhands it right past Reimer. 1-0 Bruins. Still celebrating from Kelly’s early goal, Greg Campbell decided one just wasn’t enough. After a flurry of shots on Reimer including an absolute blast by Shawn Thornton, Greg Campbell skates in and scores a sweet wraparound at 5:40. Assists go to Andrew Ference and Daniel Paille. 2-0 Bruins.

This is already the type of game Bruins fans have been waiting for. Its amazing what one win can do for a team. The Bruins are skating strong, with all 4 lines rolling and contributing. Limiting the Leafs to as little shots as possible, they control this game. It doesn’t take long before the Bruins light the lamp once again, with Benoit Pouliot tipping in his 11th goal of the season, with the aid of efforts from Johnny Boychuk and Brian Rolston. That third line is bringing the heat tonight. 3-0 Bruins. Greg Campbell and Luke Schenn drop the gloves after a massive pileup on top of Timmy. Schenn outweighs Campbell by at least 30 pounds and controls most of the fight but Campbell hangs in there, like a true Bruin would. Jay Rosehill joins his teammate Luke Schenn in the box for roughing, putting Boston on the powerplay. Typically ineffective, it doesn’t take long for Marchand to score his 24th of the season. 4-0 Bruins.

After a goalie change, its obvious that the frustration with the Leafs is growing. Mike Komisarek decides he hasn’t learned his lesson yet and decides to have a go with Milan Lucic. As most fights go, Lucic destroys his face and drags him around the ice for a while before they’re separated.

Pure domination the entire first period, with the Bruins shutting down the Leafs and limiting them to 2 shots on goal. The tables have turned and finally the Bruins are embarrassing their opponents, instead of the other way around. Unbelievable amount of action and it was only the first.

Second period:

Bruins spend a lot of time in the Leafs zone, creating an obscene amount of traffic in front of Gustavsson. They’re producing some of the prettiest passes I’ve seen in a while. They’re just in sync with each other, a complete team again. Only 2:31 into the second, a serious miscue by the Leafs leads to a wrister by Benoit Pouliot, his second of the night. Assists go to Rolston and Kelly. The third line is playing out of their minds tonight. Bruins 5-0. MacArthur gets sent to the shame cubicle and it doesn’t take long for Chara to send a 107mph shot set up  by Caron to put the Bruins up again. What a beaut of a game. Bruins 6-0

With 4:45 left in the second, the Bruins have limited the Leafs to only 6 shots on goal. Same amount as Bruins have goals. The Bruins defense went from being nonexistent to a brick wall. Timmy might be in net, but he’s getting all the rest he needs. After several icings and a lot of back and forth, Brian Rolston swoops in and scores at the end of the period. Assists go to David Krejci and Adam McQuaid and yep, you guessed it, Bruins 7-0.

Third period:

7 shots on goal for the Leafs, 7 goals for the Bruins. That’s how we start the third period. If Phil Kessel wasn’t kicking himself last year for leaving Boston, he is now. He’s literally wasting away in Toronto. Caron tries to rip off Lyles head and gets sent to timeout  for holding but the Bruins effectively kill the penalty, with Timmy doing acrobatics to hold the Leafs scoreless. Toronto continuously gives up possession and the Bruins spend a good chunk of time just hanging out in the Leafs zone, frolicking around and making them look silly. It doesn’t matter where the Leafs shoot, there’s always a Bruins stick anticipating the puck. The Leafs can’t seem to catch a single break tonight.

Can’t catch a break indeed. The Leafs made it until there was only 1:31 left in the third period, but of course Tyler Seguin scores. Its the straw that broke the camels back. Seguin always scores against Toronto though, and the “Thank you Kessel” chant echoes through the Garden. Absolutely beautiful. Bruins 8-0.


The Bruins absolutely wrecked Toronto, and dragged them up and down the ice for a full 60 minutes. Strong defense, intense offense and a shutout for Timmy. It was a perfect game.

First Star: The third line

Second & Third Stars? Everyone else.


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