Toronto and Boston get back to the grind Thursday night, and it is a critical one. I have thought since the beginning that both teams would win their first 2 games at home, so now it’s up to the Leafs to prove me right, and I really hope they do. The Leafs have a fantastic home record this season and they need to take advantage of it, because I don’t see them coming back from a 3-1 deficit heading back to Boston.
The last game has shown us that they still have some fire left in them. Babcock made a ballsy call in having Plekanec shadowing Bergeron on the second line, and to my surprise he not only performed well, but actually completely shut him out of the game and left the Bergeron line at a combined -7 for the night. Wow! Well played Babcock. Matthews had a gorgeous snipe and old man Marleau did was he does…score goals. So it’s time to do it again. I imagine they go back to what has worked and have Plekanec, Marleau and Marner facing off against Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak again. Just keep doing what you did last game please.
JVR and Bozak have been quiet lately and it would be a great time to catch that fire again and provide some secondary scoring. The leafs live and die on spread out scoring, so they must take advantage. They are getting the easiest line match ups and theoretically should be winning that battle.
Rielly it’s nice to see you again! Amazing performance. I’d like to see Babcock really lean on him heavily. Forget about game 1 and 2. Build off of game 3. We all know he has it in him, as he did it all season. Hainsey is really starting to show his age lately (not to mention completely over worked in the regular season) so I’m starting to wonder how long it takes until he loses his spot on the top pair? In reality he probably won’t but it’s times like this I REALLY wish the leafs had won the Ryan McDonagh sweepstakes.
Something to look forward to – Kadri is only suspended one more game, meaning he is guaranteed at least one game back this series. If they can muster out a win on Thursday, they can ice their full lineup when they go back to Boston. And that brings me to my final question. Let’s say Plekanec is able to shut down Bergeron and company again? Do you still put Kadri back on the second line and screw with what has worked? Kadri on the fourth? Move him to wing? I’ll leave that one up to the coach.
Oh one more thing…Komarov you were a good soldier, but maybe take the rest of the playoffs off. I hate to say it but you just aren’t cutting it anymore and the stats back it up. Leave Johnsson in. He’s younger, faster, and MUCH more dynamic. Please!