TORONTO – Here are 10 thoughts after the second period with the Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs locked in a 3-3 score after the first 20 minutes of Game 4 at the Air Canada Centre.
1) Such a bad first period for Zdeno Chara. He and Wade Redden both giving way too much time and space to Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul on the first goal while crowding the left side of the ice, Chara screened Tuukka Rask with a drive-by (rather than blocking the shot) on Toronto’s second goal, and then one of his deflected shots catches Milan Lucic in the face and draws blood at the end of the period. He was a mess, and a minus-2 in the first period.
2) Tuukka Rask was screened partially by Chara, but he’s got to find a way to stop that Cody Franson shot from just inside the blue line. Bruins defense giving up too many good chances early in the period, and Rask allows two goals on only eight shots on net.
3) Krejci, Lucic and Horton with five of Boston’s 16 shots in the first period. They are able to get exactly what they want right now offensively, but couldn’t finish it off when Krejci hit the post with a wide open top of the net at the end of their first power play. Lucic left the ice at the end of regulation leaking blood from his face after catching a Zdeno Chara shot in the cheek, so that bears some watching. He looked like he was in a pretty heavy amount of pain.
4) Leafs out-hitting the Bruins by a 26-14 margin, and heave clearly come out with a snarl tonight. Colton Orr was challenging Zdeno Chara behind the play on one shift, and Dion Phaneuf ripping Milan Lucic’s helmet off during another scrum in front later on in the period. Toronto has also blocked 13 shots to two blocked shots for the Bruins, and looks like the only team that truly wants it.
5) Maple Leafs have 14-of-22 face-offs in the first period. How do you like that? Randy Carlyle gamesmanship working out for Toronto thus far.
1) Huge power play goal for Patrice Bergeron in the opening minute of the second period to steal back the momentum in game. He finally pounced on a James Reimer rebound of a Zdeno Chara shot for his first goal of the playoffs, but he’s been a warrior throughout the game. One goal, four shots on net, three hits, a blocked shot and a huge battle every time he’s been on the ice.
2) Surprised at how much James van Riemsdyk snaps his head back, flops to the ground and generally overacts trying to get calls from the referees. He actually managed to get a call on David Krejci when Krejci and Brad Marchand both responded to him behind the Boston net, and that’s the first time it’s actually worked in the series. Coming off the spearing of Marchand’s groin in Boston, JVR is developing quite a body of work in the playoffs. Wonder if he took acting classes at UNH?
3) Johnny Boychuk playing tough tonight. Took a shot off the right knee and then struggled in his next shift while having difficulty putting any weight on his leg, but he returned to the ice a few minutes later to finish out the period. He is the one of the toughest guys in the NHL with some kind of pain threshold to see the stuff he regularly plays through.
4) Two goals for David Krejci: one was a gritty rebound of a Brad Marchand shot, and the second was a one-timer from the right circle off a Nathan Horton feed on the power play. He now has four goals and nine points in 3 2/3 playoff games, and looks well on his way to another gaudy point total when things are through for the Black and Gold.
5) Much better PK work from the Bruins tonight. They’ve killed all three Toronto PPs in the first two periods, but still have a 5-on-3 facing them to start the third period at the Air Canada Centre. Will be first game they haven’t allowed a power play goal if they can hold on.