UHS LEAFS WATCH WITH COACH NYE
After nine long years playoff hockey was back in the ‘Big Smoke’ or as the rest of the hockey world knows it as Leafs Nation.
Yes indeed the Leafs were flying after a big win in Boston to even up the series at one game apiece and then to come home to the crowd of over 500+ in ‘Leafs Square’ right beside the ACC and then inside over 19,000+ screaming fans anticipating what they were hoping would be a game of all games.
Well want they got is a game of too many mistakes by both teams but more noticeable by the ‘Blue Shirts‘ who it seemed to be handling a hand grenade more than a rubber puck.
All throughout the game the Leafs were not winning those one on one battles that they did in game 2 as Boston out hit the Leafs 51 to 48. Have a look at a couple of interesting other stats below and it will tell you why the evening ended up for the Leafs the way it did.
Bruins – Leafs
Faceoffs 44 30 Kelly @ 80% while Bozak was @ only 41%
Giveaways 20 24 2 out of 4 goals were on Leaf giveaways
Takeaways 5 10
Hits 51 48
The bottom line here was the Leafs made this game way too easy for the Boston Bruins tonight. At times the Bruins dictated all facets of the game. While the Leafs came out hard in the third firing 19 of their 48 shots at Bruins ’Tender of the Twines’ Tuukka Rask, who stood on his head most of that 3rd period. But what was missing was the ‘Big Dogs’ once again. Just like in the first game, players like Lupul, Kessel and JVR were not up to the same tempo as they were in game two and they need to be if the Leafs have any chance.
What I also saw tonight was the mixing up the lines done by Coach Carlyle. It just wasn’t done the same way for some reason. Yes the Coach Carlyle had home ice advantage for his last change but for some reason it didn’t seem to matter. What I think was the reason was that Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t really worry sometimes who was on against Phil ‘The Thrill’ Kessel tonight he just wanted the Bruins team to play hockey and good hockey they played. Another reason could be, it was a good solid effort by the Bruins and they were away from home where they could just relax and play their style because they knew the Leaf crowd would be wound up and that would get the young Leafs feeling a little bit nervous for tonights game.
Now going again on Wednesday night will we see a little twist in Coach Carlyle’s line up? Is it time to put back MacArthur who needs to show the coach he can produce. Is it time to put in JM Liles and take out O’Byrne who was one of the culprits who gave away the puck for a Bruin goal. And maybe up front you could change up Orr to McLaren as Orr might need a little rest after running into Zdeno ‘Redwood’ Chara a couple of times.
The one thing we do know is the young Leaf team needs to come out firing on all cylinders and those ‘Big Dogs’ need to barking and howling at their best to overcome the veteran Bruins squad or it will be one of the toughest 5th game that any of these Leafs will have ever been in but lets get game 4 out of the way first. Because we all know you can only do one thing in these playoffs and that’s play one game at a time.
Until next time,
See you after the game,