This, of course, comes after Kadri was suspended for three games in the first round against the Bruins previous year after he hit Boston forward Tommy Wingels along the boards in Game 1. But it has always been that way with Kadri, right from the day he was picked by the Leafs in the first round in 2009. He has 161 goals in 561 games, appearing in the playoffs four times. "It's real simple. The team that played the hardest won Game 1".
Boston tied their series with Toronto 1-1 following their 4-1 win, while the Leafs' Nazem Kadri was ejected late in the 3rd period for an illegal cross check.
For the first time in a long time, the Leafs struck early and maintained a lead, on Boston ice no less.
Toronto got on top of Boston's defence in Game 1 with its speed. "They are no different than the teams". Rask went 27-18 with a 2.48 GAA on the year overall, including 12-10 with a 2.65 GAA out on the road and 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA against the Maple Leafs. The Bruins evened the series 1-1 with their victory in Game 2. They had scored a cumulative five goals in two games and allowed six.
Especially since those hockey talents make him so valuable that the Maple Leafs cannot afford to lose him when he inevitably does resort to those shenanigans that get him removed from the lineup.
It's worth noting that the 2013 Leafs, however, had a shoddy home record with only 13 wins at home.
That means he is nearly certainly looking at a hefty suspension that could sideline him for the remainder of Round 1, and perhaps beyond should the Maple Leafs advance.
What is more useful for the purposes of this investigation is the numbers that a very similar Leafs team posted last year against a very similar Bruins team, and this year has seen a world of improvement over those statistics.
DeBrusk said postgame he underwent a series of tests after leaving the game and is waiting for the results before he learns if he can play Monday in Game 3. Their penalty kill was at 50.0 and their power play was at 0.0.
Want more reasons to believe in the Leafs' improvement?
But it was opportunity separate from Nylander's - one that went largely unnoticed by onlookers and certainly by the opposition - that had far more influence on the outcome Monday night at Scotiabank Arena. In his career, he has gone 23-17 with a 2.60 GAA in the postseason and 11-2 with a 2.42 GAA against the Bruins.
If Saturday's incident was a one-time, isolated thing it would be a lot easier to accept it, criticize him for a selfish, dumb play, and deal with whatever consequences that might come from it. Kadri and DeBrusk had gone at it numerous times throughout the first two games of the series before the veteran Leaf lost his cool with the cross-check, which also drew a five-minute major and an ejection.
Finally, this young team is finally coming into maturity.
Mitch Marner, who scored twice in Game 1, but was held in check along with most of his teammates Saturday, made the initial play to Johnsson off the offensive zone draw.
"Their level of urgency, as much as we talked about it and prepared for it, we didn't match it", Babcock said.
The Leafs opened the scoring with a five-on-five goal from the fourth line - easily their best one shift-to-shift in the first 40 minutes - and added two power-play goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead.
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