I spent Friday night watching Game 5 of the Leafs/Bruins series with my notebook, looking to jot down some Leafs-centric notes.
"We've had better games".
It was one of those games that coaches love. "I'll take one in the playoffs any day of the week aside from the regular season so it was fortunate".
The native of Woodstock, Ont. was stellar defensively and his silky pass set up Auston Matthews' opening (controversial) goal of the game midway through the third period. One by the Bruins allowing Matthews to be as wide open inside the faceoff circle as he was.
Hyman wasn't sure if he interfered and he was very nervous about the outcome of the review.
One person who clearly didn't get what he wanted was Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. The Bruins are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings in Toronto and 5-2 in the last 7 meetings. "It's either interference or it's not".
This means that if goalie interference was the call on the ice, the Bruins would have gotten what they wanted. The Leafs went several minutes without a shot on net in the second, but a weak Hyman shot got the Leafs going, as both Tyler Ennis and Kapanen had good chances ... "I'm just glad it counted". "Put more pucks on their goalie".
"When we're breaking out clean like that, attacking the opposing team with our speed and skill, I think we make it hard on them, as well as taking care of the puck in the neutral zone". We know Toronto is explosive offensively and can score two or three goals a period out of nowhere. But after being gifted the game's first three power play opportunities, the Bruins couldn't manage any sort of momentum from them.
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With each of his four forward lines failing to produce any sort of life on the ice, Cassidy was shuffling his lines throughout the entire game, with nothing to show for it.
"I didn't know, because you don't know how things are, right?" he said.
"I think that's been huge for me", Matthews said. A lot going through you mind there. Danton Heinen was in Pastrnak's spot on the Patrice Bergeron line again and Cassidy allowed them to play against the John Tavares line again. The Leafs would win that one 3-1, but fell 7-4 in Game 7 in Boston after leading 4-3 through two periods.
Babcock did, indeed, love the game, especially the way his young star Matthews played.
"Games are being lost in the playoffs and it's not right", Talbot tweeted.
There wasn't much fight in the Bruins game, other than Rask. As far as the scoring chances went with Boston up a man, the Leafs had the best during the third penalty, but Kasperi Kapanen shot high on a breakaway. I don't know, maybe he should have scored a goal as well?
Should the Maple Leafs have been called for interference on this play though? Outside of Game 2, you can't find a game in the series where the Bruins were clearly the better of the two teams. "In the end, we got good goaltending, good specialty teams and won a game. We have time to get ourselves back in the game and regroup, unfortunately we weren't able to do that".
As cliché as it might sound, being better in Game 6 starts with showing up to play a playoff hockey game, and getting more pucks on net.