Talking Points: Bruins frustrated and disappointed with 6-5 loss
William Nylander was a killer for the Maple Leafs with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner hogging so many of the Maple Leafs rookie accolades this season. Nylander used his speed and his marksman pinpoint shooting accuracy to pile up the three goals through the first two periods, and finished it off with a power play strike in the second period that finally chased Tuukka Rask from the game. The three goals and plus-2 rating in 16:39 of ice time along with four shots and one takeaway was a marvel of efficiency. The Maple Leafs don’t quite have the grit or the overall talent needed to truly compete yet, but those three electric rookies may take them a fair amount of the way this season.
David Krejci didn’t end with the worst numbers on the team in the loss, but he stood out as a liability on the ice. He finished with just a single shot on net in 19:30 of ice time and wasn’t close to enough of an offensive factor in a must-win game. But the most damning moment came in the third period when he lollygagged up the ice on the back-check watching Connor Brown set up right in front of him in the slot for the tap-in goal. Krejci didn’t react or speed up to get involved with the play and instead just coasted along letting it all happen without any urgency. Frank Vatrano was in the area as well, but Krejci is one of the that’s counted on to come up with big plays at both ends of the ice based on his stature and his paycheck. He failed in both regards on Toronto’s fifth goal of the game, and continues to be a real problem on this Bruins team with a minus-13 mark for the season.
The biggest turning point for the Bruins was Adam McQuaid dropping the gloves with Matt Martin in the second period, and pounding the living daylights out of the Toronto tough guy. Martin didn’t like a McQuaid hit on Auston Matthews and so he tugged on McQuaid’s cape, and the two NHL heavyweights traded some true haymakers. Eventually Martin fell bloodied and dazed after a giant right handed punch from McQuaid, and the bench and home crowd were both fully energized. Torey Krug scored another goal three minutes later to close things to a 4-3 game, and the Bruins were in the game the rest of the way after being down by three goals at one point. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the two points on this night.
David Pastrnak did his best to energize the Bruins along with Adam McQuaid’s fisticuffs, and had his first two-goal game since much earlier in the season. Pastrnak’s first goal was a beauty of a five hole strike in the first period, and the second was a rebound of a Zdeno Chara point shot that kick-started Boston’s comeback in the second period. Pastrnak finished with two goals and three points along with a plus-1 rating in 21:07 of ice time, and had 10 shot attempts along with three hits and four takeaways in his night of work. He couldn’t quite go goal-for-goal with his Swedish buddy Nylander unfortunately, however, and that’s what the Bruins would have needed to at least extend things to overtime.
BY THE NUMBERS:
.871 – Tuukka Rask’s save percentage since the beginning of January after getting pulled for allowing four goals on 14 shots in the loss to the Maple Leafs.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“We knew how important those two points in that game was. It’s very disappointing and frustrating at the same time, you know. You can’t give up six goals if you want to win any hockey games, and the last thing you want to do is claw your way back all the time.” –Patrice Bergeron, who was obviously disappointed after losing a must-win to the Toronto Maple Leafs in regulation.