Talking Points: Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 3

Talking Points: Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 3
January 15, 2014, 12:00 am
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GOLD STAR: Tyler Bozak continued a month-long tear with a pair of goals against the Bruins, and three points overall while playing 23:36 of ice time centering Phil Kessel’s line. Bozak didn’t light it up in the face-off circle or fire many pucks at the net beyond his two goals, but that was more than enough to take home the win. Bozak has five goals and 11 points in his last eight games with the Maple Leafs, and has really given the team a shot in the arm after they struggled to gather regulation wins over the last few months. The first goal was a “right place, right time” rebound of a Carl Gunnarson shot, and the second was just a nice finish after getting a slick James van Riemsdyk feed from the other side of the ice.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins third line really didn’t bring much to the table in this one, and Carl Soderberg had one of his trick-or-treat games where he wasn’t enough of a presence given his size, strength and skill. The entire third period line spent more time hemmed into their own zone rather than in the offensive zone, he zero shots on net and he took a half-hearted hooking call at the end of a shift that turned into a power play goal for the Leafs in the first period. Soderberg wasn’t on the ice for any goals against, but he didn’t really make any plays either.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were still in a tie hockey game more than seven minutes into the second period, but then Tuukka Rask faltered with a soft power play goal allowed to Jake Gardiner. The wrist shot from the right face-off dot beat Rask high to the glove hand side, and gave Toronto a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. It was another indication that the Boston goaltender is fighting the puck a little bit at this point in the season, and that’s not good for a Bruins team that needs him.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jonathan Bernier was probably guilty of allowing the Patrice Bergeron goal to trickle through his pads by the near post in the first period, but other than that he stood tall behind a defense that gave the Bruins a lot of scoring chances. He stoned Jarome Iginla on a breakaway early in the first period, and finished with 38 saves – including a flurry at the end as the Bruins stormed the castle trying to push things into overtime. There clearly wasn’t the same kind of confidence against him from the Bruins’ side as there was against James Reimer, who leaves a lot of rebounds hanging around the net for put-backs.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-for-16 – the Bruins have gone scoreless on the power play over the last five games, and haven’t scored a PP goal since the calendar turned over to 2014.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I’ve been here for four years now and the penalty kill has always been really solid. It’s just an area that we have to rectify [right now], and we’ll do that. –Gregory Campbell talking about a PK unit that’s allowed 10 power play goals in their last seven games.