Despite a strong start to Game Six, the Leafs fell into a prolonged malaise on Sunday afternoon, ultimately losing 4-2 to the Bruins. Frederik Andersen did his part in keeping the game close, making 39 saves in a losing effort.

The Good

  • Morgan Rielly fired a shot from the point to beat Tuukka Rask for his first goal of the 2019 playoffs. Rielly was the Leafs’ best skater on the afternoon, logging 25:49 of ice time and generating six shots.
  • With the Leafs trailing 2-1 late in the first period Andersen robbed Patrice Bergeron with an outstanding glove save.
  • Auston Matthews extended his goal scoring streak to four games, collecting his fifth goal of the playoffs at 4:15 of the third period.

The Bad

  • The Leafs had no answer to the Bruins’ power play after killing off all three Boston advantages in Game 5. Toronto took two first period penalties and its opponents capitalized on both of them. Brad Marchand evened the game after Patrice Bergeron won an offensive faceoff and Marchand’s shot deflected off Ron Hainsey and behind Andersen. Boston went ahead when the Leafs’ passive PK allowed Torey Krug a free lane, resulting in his go-ahead goal.
  • In the second period, the Leafs game up the eventual game-winner on a two-on-two rush. The defenders appeared to be in good position, but Andreas Johnsson – filling in for a pinching Rielly – got turned the wrong way as Jake DeBrusk made an inside move after taking a pass from David Krejci, then beat Andersen for his first goal of the playoffs.

The Ugly

  • Boston’s first period goals appeared to deflate Toronto, psychologically if not physically. The Leafs generated just six shots in the opening frame, and did not force Rask to make a save until well over seven minutes into the second period.
  • Babcock: “But then, as soon as we had a little adversity and they scored twice, we didn’t recover. I don’t know if that’s the emotions got the better of us, but we couldn’t get ‘er back in check. To say we weren’t ready, that would be totally wrong. We started really well, we played really well and then, boom. Once they scored, we didn’t recover very good. We talked about it and prepared for it, but it didn’t happen.”
  • William Nylander appeared to be in a fog and unready to receive a pass for what would have been a scoring chance late in the second period.
  • John Tavares carried a heavy weight of expectations after finishing third in the NHL with 47 goals in the regular season. But – despite having at least two good chances in Game Six – Tavares had his goal drought extended to five games after scoring an empty-netter in the series opener.

Rob Del Mundo is the author of Off The Post, and is a regular columnist at TMLfans.ca.

In 2019, Rob co-wrote with Evan Gubernick “Hockey Addict’s Guide: Toronto”, now available at Chapters and Indigo stores everywhere.