The Leafs staved off elimination with a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins in Round One of their playoff series. Toronto returned the favour, so to speak, of stealing a road victory against the team that beat them in Game 4 to push them to the brink. Nazem Kadri returned to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension.
The Good

  • Frederik Andersen was easily the game’s first star, making 42 saves for the win. His most timely stop was a pad save off David Pastrnak with the Leafs clinging to a one-goal lead.
  • Connor Brown was inserted onto the top line with Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman, and was rewarded with the opening goal of the game, his first tally of the 2018 playoffs.
  • Andreas Johnsson scored his first career post-season goal.
  • After the Leafs surrendered a lucky power play goal to Boston in the second period, the team responded swiftly. Just 51 seconds later, Tyler Bozak collected his first goal of this year’s playoffs.
  • James van Riemsdyk scored his third goal of the post-season a power play marker, that held up as the game-winner.
  • Toronto’s penalty killing has been subpar in April, so credit is due to the team for successfully defending a Bruins’ two-man advantage for 1:33 in the second period.

The Bad

  • While the penalties were disproportionate – six against Toronto, and only one called on Boston – it’s hard to dispute any of the calls against the Leafs over the final forty minutes. The best way to avoid penalty-kill situations is to stay out of the box in the first place.
  • “It was 4-1, in 2013”. Really Twitter, we hadn’t noticed, please remind us again. Seriously, if you couldn’t think of anything more creative to tweet, shame on you.

The Ugly

  • Toronto was outshot 20-5 in the third period, and luckily for the team, Andersen had a terrific outing to preserve the victory. However, the team cannot continue to rely on the model of waiting for Andersen to steal the game on a consistent basis, if it expects to be successful.