Sports Babcock, Leafs lack answers for Bruins in Game 2 loss

08:00  15 april  2018
08:00  15 april  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Leafs surprised by length of Nazem Kadri's suspension

  Leafs surprised by length of Nazem Kadri's suspension Leafs surprised by length of Nazem Kadri's suspensionThe three-game ban, however, caught them off guard.

The Bruins raced off to a four-goal lead in the first period and never looked back, taking a commanding two - games -to-none advantage in their opening-round playoff series with a 7-3 win Saturday night. “We’ve got to go home and get regrouped,” said Babcock .

Babcock , Leafs lack answers for Bruins in Game 2 loss . Boston raced off to a four-goal lead in the first period and never looked back, taking a commanding 2-0 lead over Toronto in their first-round series.

Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen hits the post on a short-handed breakaway against Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period.© Winslow Townson Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen hits the post on a short-handed breakaway against Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period.

BOSTON—Yikes.

Few saw this coming, the Boston Bruins simply rolling over the Toronto Maple Leafs. But it’s happening, and — with or without Nazem Kadri — coach Mike Babcock and his players don’t seem to have any idea how to deal with it.

The Bruins raced off to a four-goal lead in the first period and never looked back, taking a commanding two-games-to-none advantage in their opening-round playoff series with a 7-3 win Saturday night.

“We’ve got to go home and get regrouped,” said Babcock. “So that’s our first priority. We’ve got to go home, get out of here.

Bruce Arthur: Lost Leafs need to embrace the future to survive

  Bruce Arthur: Lost Leafs need to embrace the future to survive BOSTON—Right now it feels like there are no good answers. The Toronto Maple Leafs entered Game 2 talking about confidence; Mike Babcock talked about digging in. The first shift was not a panicked scramble in their own zone. It was all going fine.And then the ceiling caved in, and the Leafs are down 2-0 in their first-round series with the Boston Bruins. The Bruins’ top line feasted. There was another too-many-men penalty, and the penalty kill got killed again, and then again. The goaltending blew up. Toronto’s biggest weaknesses were exposed; its strengths were quietly put in a box — 7-3 Bruins.So now it’s time for Babcock to find whatever answers there are.

R1, Gm7: Mike Babcock talks about the Maple Leafs ' Game 7 loss to the Bruins and how Boston took over late to advance to the Second Round.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen and center Tomas Plekanec (19) stretch to make a save against the Boston Bruins during the first period of Game 7 Then the wheels fell off. “You’re all part of it when it goes good, you’re all part of it when it doesn’t,” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said.

“I mean, it obviously hasn’t gone the way we want it — we’ve given up 12 goals in two games. So we’ve got to go get some home cooking and come back and pull like we can, because we’re a way better team than what we showed.”

Babcock started with new lines, partly because of Kadri’s three-game suspension but also because he wanted a different look after Boston’s top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand had their way with the Leafs.

Didn’t help.

Babcock yanked goalie Frederik Andersen after Boston’s third goal.

Didn’t help.

He again juggled his lines to start the second period, installing William Nylander at centre with Zach Hyman and Mitch Marner.

Marner scored. It might have helped, but it didn’t matter.

Pastrnak and Marchand were on the ice for all of Boston’s goals. Bergeron was on the ice for six of the seven.

Babcock planning for Game 3 without Komarov

  Babcock planning for Game 3 without Komarov Babcock planning for Game 3 without KomarovKomarov left Saturday's 7-3 Game 2 loss with a lower-body injury and Babcock says he doesn't know if the Finnish forward will be ready to return for Monday's Game 3 matchup at Air Canada Centre.

Yes. The playoffs begin. Go Leafs ! We got this!

Home 2018 NHL Playoffs Mike Babcock Post Game : Bruins 7 vs. Leafs 4. Mike Babcock addressed the media after his team’s 7-4 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7. I already kind of answered your questions there.

Pastrnak had three goals and three assists, Marchand and Bergeron each picked up four helpers. The line has 20 points in two games.

Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash, Kevin Miller and David Krejci also scored for Boston. Torey Krug had three assists.

Marner, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak scored for Toronto. Connor Brown and Zach Hyman each picked up assists and have points in both games of the series.

Andreas Johnsson played for Kadri, and the Leafs’ depth could be further tested with an injury to Leo Komarov, run over by Miller in the second period and favouring his knee. He did not return.

They have options: Matt Martin if they want toughness; Dominic Moore if they want speed and defence; Josh Leivo if they want some offence. None have played much lately, but all are itching to get in.

“We’ve still got to come up with what we’re going to do when we get home. That’s not solved yet by any means,” said Babcock. “Leo leaving the game, too, made things a little different, and without Naz there’ll be some changes.

Plekanec steps up for Leafs in Kadri’s absence

  Plekanec steps up for Leafs in Kadri’s absence The Toronto Maple Leafs will turn to Tomas Plekanec to centre their top checking line Monday night when they try and get back into their Eastern Conference quarter-finals series with the Boston Bruins. Having lost the first two games of the series, the Leafs were also facing a shortage at centre, with Nazem Kadri on a three-game suspension; Plekanec was in Kadri’s regular spot — between Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau — at the morning skate Monday.

That simple sentenced summed up the thoughts of Leafs head coach Mike Babcock , after his The Leafs seemed lost against the Bruins , a shadow of themselves with no answer to Boston’s top line It took a win in Game 3 and a better performance in a loss in Game 4 before the Leafs looked like

The Toronto Maple Leafs ' season has come down to one game , and head coach Mike Babcock says they should embrace it.

“But the way I look at all this, none of that matters. You’ve got to get your mind right, and you’ve got to play right, and whoever puts on our sweater is good enough. I thought (Kasperi) Kapanen and Johnsson were fine.”

They also have Connor Carrick on the sidelines while two defencemen, Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey, had very rough evenings.

“We have plenty of stuff to look at to get ourselves prepped for Monday,” said Hainsey. “We could be better in certainly just about all aspects. We have plenty of work to do.”

Special teams have also abandoned the Maple Leafs. A point of pride in the regular season, the penalty kill has allowed five goals over two games, while the power play has only managed one: Van Riemsdyk’s third-period goal Saturday when the game was out of reach.

The Leafs talked about using Friday to regroup. They might want to rebrand on Sunday, and somehow find a physical answer to Boston’s tough, aggressive play.

As they say at playoff time, no team is in trouble until they lose at home, but that’s really the best that can be said of the Leafs’ fortunes at what could well be the halfway point of the series. Game 3 is Monday at the Air Canada Centre, Game 4 Thursday.

Bruins' Rask: 'Probably could have stopped more pucks with my eyes closed'

  Bruins' Rask: 'Probably could have stopped more pucks with my eyes closed' Tuukka Rask put on a performance Saturday that he'll want to forget. In Game 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins netminder allowed four goals on just 13 shots before getting the hook midway through the second period. The veteran blamed himself for the 4-3 loss that saw the Maple Leafs close in on the Bruins' 3-2 series lead."(I) probably could have stopped more pucks with my eyes closed," Rask told Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com. "It's on me."Backup Anton Khudobin came into the game in relief of Rask, turning aside eight shots, but the Bruins couldn't overcome the Maple Leafs' early lead.Game 6 goes Monday in Toronto.

And then the puck dropped in Game 1 against the Boston Bruins and it was a beating, if hardly a fight. “They were more competitive than us at the start tonight,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. And from then they cranked it up and we didn’t answer .”

The Bruins took a 2 -0 series lead. 1:57. Asked to recall a similar performance, Babcock couldn't. "No, and if I had, I'd try to block it out of my mind probably," he said. "Obviously they're dominating us." Leafs searching for answers .

The Bruins were again the more physical team, targeting the Leafs’ key talented players with hits that did not cross the line in the eyes of referees Trevor Hanson and Marc Joannette.

The opening 20 minutes were very unkind to Zaitsev, who was on the ice for all four goals against. On the first one, he chased Marchand while, at the same time, Jake Gardiner left his post, leaving Pastrnak alone in front of Andersen. On the second goal, DeBrusk outhustled Zaitsev in the slot. On the third goal, Miller’s centring pass from the corner went in off Zaitsev’s skate. That ended Andersen’s night at 12:13.

Nash scored on a power play at the 15-minute mark against McElhinney, just 11 seconds after Hainsey — the team’s top penalty killer — was assessed a double minor for fighting Tim Schaller, who’d hit Marner.

The Leafs — with lines different from the new ones that played the first period — looked much better in the second. Marner scored at 1:22, finishing a two-on-one rush with Hyman that Marner started by stealing the puck in the neutral zone.

Krejci answered, though, to thwart any momentum at 3:46. Hainsey was the goat, with a sloppy pass toward Auston Matthews that Krejci easily intercepted.

“Kind of the definition of forcing something that’s not there,” Hainsey said of his errant pass. “There was nobody on the wing. I was trying to squeeze one into Matthews. Probably not a play you try in a tie game or overtime. I could have iced it, or I could have tried to get it to our best player. It didn’t work.”

Bruce Arthur: Leafs prepare for Game 7 of their lives with clean sheet .
“I thought it was over, actually. I was going through different scenarios, wondering what would be next.” — Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins defenceman, on Game 7 against Toronto, 2013“Game’s not over. Game’s not over.” — Then-Leafs general manager Dave Nonis to people trying to congratulate him during the third period of that Game 7“Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup, so you’ve got to go through everyone.” — Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner Tuesday afternoonThe Leafs will be in Boston to play Game 7 on Wednesday night. They have come back from a 3-1 deficit in the series.

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