Bruins accept responsibility in lifeless Game 1 loss: “We weren't playing the right way the whole way through”

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BOSTON – The Bruins are going to need to go back to the drawing board after a Game 1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The B’s mismanaged the puck throughout the game, allowed far too many breakaway opportunities in the second period when Toronto took control of the game, played way too cute in the offensive zone and simply didn’t do anything well enough at either end of the ice in a 4-1 loss to the Maple Leafs at TD Garden. It was one of the worst games of the last few months for the Black and Gold, and came at a fine time as the first game of a best-of-seven playoff series against Toronto.

Passes weren’t connecting easily, the Bruins were over-passing rather than taking the simple shot on net and everything was a monumental struggle aside from their power play goal from Patrice Bergeron in the first period.

“We talked a lot about taking care of the blue lines and you know, playing Playoff hockey, and a lot of that wasn’t done tonight. [There were] too many turnovers,” said Patrice Bergeron. “When that happens, you don’t really establish your fore-check or get any rhythm out of it. So [there were] some things that we can definitely take from it…a lot of good chances. That being said it’s obviously not good enough and now it’s about moving forward and being ready [for Game 2].”

Clearly there were Bruins mistakes made with a pivotal penalty shot in the second period after a shorthanded breakaway attempt for Mitch Marner, and another breakaway goal for William Nylander that truly put things out of reach for the Black and Gold. But it was also about a Maple Leafs team that perhaps surprised the Bruins a little bit with their added physicality, and their ability to exert pressure on the Bruins defense with their speed and playmaking.

After the game Boston’s leaders were giving some credit where it was due to the Maple Leafs, and taking accountability for an effort that was way less than the normal for the Black and Gold over the last few months.

“They played well, they played hard, and they played fast, and they played their game. So we have to be better,” said Brad Marchand. “I don’t think they took us off their game, I just don’t think we played our game. We weren’t playing the right way the whole way through and weren’t taking care of pucks the way we normally do, and the way we can. That’s what they thrive on.”

Conversely, the Bruins didn’t play well, they didn’t play hard and they certainly didn’t play fast while looking like they simply assumed that the Maple Leafs were going to roll over for them in the first round. It’s clear after one game that isn’t going to happen, and now it’s up to the Black and Gold to bring a much more urgent, concerted effort when they get ready for a pivotal Game 2 on Saturday night at TD Garden.  

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