Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in Game 1


Here are Joe Haggerty's talking points from the Bruins' 4-1 loss to Toronto in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

GOLD STAR: Mitch Marner continues to be a certified Bruins killer for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he did it again in Game 1 against the Black and Gold. It was Marner that essentially beat the Bruins by himself when he powered up for each of the first two goals for the Leafs. The first was a great individual play where he tipped a point shot, and then managed to hop onto the other side of the net for the ricochet where he snapped home the shot past Tuukka Rask for Toronto’s first goal. Then he was hauled down from behind by Jake DeBrusk on a shorthanded breakaway, and scored on the ensuing penalty shot while completely faking out Rask once again. In all Marner finished with two goals, a plus-3 rating, five shots on net and four takeaways in 19:08 of dominant ice time against Boston.

BLACK EYE: It was a tough night for a lot of the Bruins defensemen, but the breakaway goal allowed to William Nylander in the second period was a backbreaker. And Matt Grzelcyk played a pretty big role in giving that one up as he led a B’s rush deep into the offensive zone where he didn’t get a shot on the Toronto net. And Marcus Johansson didn’t properly rotate defensively to cover for Grzelcyk, and that allowed Nylander to score on a breakaway chance to make it a 3-1 game. Grzelcyk had a couple of giveaways and a minus-1 in 15 plus minutes of ice time, but really there wasn’t a single Bruins defenseman that could be said to have played a strong game vs. Toronto in Game 1.

TURNING POINT: It was the second period where the Bruins actually put up 21 shots on net, but couldn’t get anything past Freddie Andersen while opening themselves up for a string of odd-man rushes and breakaway chances that led to a couple of goals for the Leafs. There could have been even more goals allowed in that second period if Tuukka Rask hadn’t stopped a couple of them, and it was clear the Bruins were cheating offensively, and not paying enough respect to the Maple Leafs speed and skill, when they consistently kept allowing Leafs attackers behind their last lines of defense. It was an atypically sloppy defensive game from the Bruins, and that was an odd sight for a team that’s played good, consistent hockey for a long time.

HONORABLE MENTION: John Tavares was a player that the Bruins actively sought as a free agent last summer, and he was viewed as one of the missing pieces for a Maple Leafs team looking to go over the top. He was certainly a difference-maker for Toronto in Game 1 with a goal and two points, a plus-3 and six shots on net to go along with 16-of-26 face-off wins while matching up quite a bit with the Patrice Bergeron line over the course of the game. It might have been underplayed just how much of a difference Tavares would make to the center depth in favor of Toronto in the series, but that was front and center in Game 1 where it felt like the B’s were chasing the Maple Leafs for most of the night.

BY THE NUMBERS: 29 – the number of points for Mitch Marner in 20 career games against the Bruins counting both the regular season and the postseason. He is a certified Bruins killer.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Toronto is a fast team. Clearly that shouldn't be a surprise. We obviously need to do a better job of getting that message across for Saturday." –Bruce Cassidy, on what the Bruins need to do in order to regroup for Game 2 on Saturday night against the Maple Leafs.

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