Heading into their first round matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs, many were expecting a competitive series. Two games in, and it’s been anything but that as the Bruins hold a 2-0 series lead. In their first two matchups, the Bruins have outscored the Leafs 12-4 at TD Garden. The Bruins emasculated the Leafs in Game 2, with Pastranak going between the legs in front of the Leafs goal. Right now, the Maple Leafs are in a tight spot heading back to Toronto its do or die for them in Game 3. But let’s take a look at some of the reasons the Bruins have embarrassed the Leafs up to this point:
The Bruins have been men among boys against Toronto up to this point. Everyone knew that Toronto had issues on the back end coming into the series. But no one thought it would look this bad. The Bruins are doing whatever they want wherever they want on the ice right now, and Toronto cannot do anything about it. Backes and Nash in particular have been a problem down low for the Leafs, because they just cannot match that type of physically dominating player. We have seen this in both games, with both of them scoring a goal right on top of the blue paint. It’s getting to the point where the Leafs are shying away from contact. When they do decide to throw their weight around the Bruins have just bullied them. Mike Babcock needs to do something because right now. Toronto looks like a bunch of helpless kids out there.
The First Line Matchup
The Bruins’ first line has taken one of the best players in hockey in Austin Matthews, and turned him into a scoreless almost useless player. Which should tell you how good the line of Marchand/Bergeron/Pastranak has been. “I don’t know **** happens”, is how Matthews responded when asked about the Bruins first line when they put up an insane 14 points in the Bruins 7-3 massacre of the Leafs.
The Bergeron line has put up 20 points in the first two games. Pastranak has four goals, nine points, and is the youngest player in NHL history to put up six points in a playoff game. Marchand has one goal, and five assists, while Bergeron has also put up five assists. Combined they have a +18 rating heading into Toronto. If Toronto has any chance of winning this thing they need to contain the Bergeron line, or they are going home fast.
A change of venue usually has a big effect in hockey, so do not count the Leafs out quite yet. But one thing that I did not expect to see this series is that Toronto is a soft team. While the Bruins have kept doing what they have done all year: winning.